China’s State Grid bags Brazil dam contract

Rio de Janeiro, July 18 (IANS) China’s State Grid Corporation has bagged the contract to build a transmission line for the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in Brazil, the world’s third largest such.

In the auction at the Sao Paulo stock exchange on Friday, the State Grid made the lowest bid by offering to operate the dam’s second power line for $309 million.

The offer was 19 percent lower than the maximum amount permitted in the auction, Xinhua reported.

As the winner, State Grid Brazil Holding has committed to finish building in 2019 and to begin operating the power line in 2020.

The transmission line will run for 2,250 km and will connect the Belo Monte dam to the town of Nova Iguacu near Rio de Janeiro.

The project is expected to create 16,800 direct jobs in the states of Para, Tocantins, Goias, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro.

The construction is estimated to require an investment of $2.19 billion and will be spread across five Brazilian states.

“The scale of the project means that the Chinese firm will be seeking a partner in Brazil to help,” said Ramon Haddad, vice-president for operations at State Grid Brazil Holding.

Construction on the dam began in March 2011 but faced opposition by indigenous communities, farmers, fishermen and ecologists saying that the project will have a devastating environmental impact on the Amazon rainforest.

Belo Monte will have a maximum capacity of 11,233 MW and is estimated to produce at an average capacity of 4,419 MW a year.

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