IDB to lend $128m for Brazil hydro upgrade

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to loan $128m to Brazilian energy firm Furnas Centrais Eletricas to part-finance upgrading and modernizing two hydropower plants.

Currently, the Furnas and Luiz Carlos Barreto de Carvalho hydro plants, with a combined output of 2266 MW, are frequently offline for repairs, cutting power production in a country where power demand is rising by 5.2 per cent per year.

Renovating the two plants should increase production, reduce maintenance costs, and enhance service life. The $600m project covers renovating turbines and generators and upgrading the control, supervision and protection systems.

Sylvia Larrea, IADB project team leader, said that the project avoids the social and environmental disruptions that come with new construction and would help Brazil sustain a low carbon footprint in power generation while reducing pressure to develop new sources of energy.

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