Belo Monte concession contract signed
By Chris Sleight27 August 2010
Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Lula) has signed the concession contract for the Belo Monte dam and hydroelectric project on the Xingu River. Construction can now get underway on the project.
The plant will be built and operated by the Norte Energia consortium, which is led by state-owned electricity company Chesf, with a 49.98% stake. Other partners include construction companies Queiroz Galvao, with a 10.02% stake, J Malucelli (9.98%), Cetenco Engenharia (5%), Mendes Junior (3.75%), Serveng (3.75%).
With a generation capacity of 11.2 GW, the power plant will be the third largest hydropower facility in the world behind China's Three Gorges dam and the Itaipu plant on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.
Despite its size, the contract to build and operate the facility has not proved attractive to the business community. April saw the withdrawal of both private sector consortiums from the bidding process, leaving the scheme without any interested bidders. It was following this development that the Norte Energia consortium was formed.