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French firm’s subsidiary opens 1,087MW hydro power plant in Brazil

GDF SUEZ’s Estreito plant set to provide power to 4 million people as part of Brazilian Government’s accelerating growth programme

The plant will increase Brazil’s position as a world leader in hydroelectric power

The subsidiary of a French energy firm has opened its 1,087MW hydro power plant in Brazil. GDF SUEZ, through its subsidiary Tractebel Energia, has announced the inauguration of the hydroelectric power plant at Estreito in the BRIC country.

The Estreito plant has total capacity to meet the energy needs of 4 million people. It is part of the Brazilian Government’s Programme for the Acceleration of Growth (PAC). Total investment of the project is approximately EUR 2.1bn. 

The plant is located on the Tocantins river between the states of Tocantins and Maranhão, downstream from the 243MW São Salvador and 450MW Cana Brava hydro plants. Both are owned and operated by Tractebel Energia.

President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff and chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ, Gerard Mestrallet inaugurated the plant.

Mestrallet said: “Brazil is at the heart of our group’s strategy in Latin America. We are keen to participate in meeting the growing energy needs of the country through the development of projects that provide clean and renewable energy. As the leading private power producer in Brazil, we believe that our Brazilian portfolio provides an excellent base to achieve sustainable and profitable growth.”

GDF SUEZ said the project represents a significant commitment in social and environmental programmes, totalling EUR 180m, aimed at providing better living standards for the local population as well as the protection of fauna and flora.

The company is currently studying several “greenfield” hydropower projects in Brazil, which will participate in future concession auctions. This includes the São Manoel hydro power plant and the Tapajos river basin project.

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