Brazil Sets Concession Auction for 8,040-MW Sao Luiz do Tapajos Hydro Project

Brazil’s mines and energy ministry has published guidelines for the concession auction to develop the 8,040-MW Sao Luiz do Tapajos hydroelectric project on Brazil’s Tapajos River.

The Ministerio de Minas e Energia scheduled the auction for December 15 at which time companies will compete for rights to build Sao Luiz do Tapajos and sell at least 70 to 80 percent of its power to electricity distributors in the regulated power market.

Provisions for the auction, published in Brazil’s official Diario Oficial da Uniao, call for the project to begin operation in December 2019. It is to provide power under contracts running from July 2020 through December 2049.

Technical, economic and environmental feasibility studies of Sao Luiz do Tapajos were developed from a plant-platform concept consisting of a method to plan, design, build and operate a hydroelectric plant or set of hydroelectric plants in legally protected territory or territory apt to receive formal protection and areas of little or no human activity so that its location becomes a site of permanent environmental conservation.

Technical and economic parameters were analyzed by the government’s energy research agency, Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica, and forwarded by the ministry to the Tribunal de Contas da Uniao, the accountability office of the national Congress, so that social and environmental constraints were considered as part of the project.

Brazil utility Furnas Centrais Eletricas S.A. invited proposals in August from companies to form a partnership to bid in the upcoming concession auction. Furnas’ parent utility, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S.A. (Eletrobras), submitted in May a technical and financial appraisal of Sao Luiz do Tapajos to Brazil’s Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL), which is to administer the concession auction.

Sao Luiz do Tapajos is the largest component of the proposed 12,000-MW Tapajos hydroelectric complex on the Tapajos and Jamanxim rivers in northern Brazil. The complex also is to include the 2,300-MW Jatoba, 528-MW Cachoeira dos Patos, 881-MW Jamanxin and 802-MW Cachoeira do Cai projects, all of which will be built in the Amazon region’s Para State.

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