Energy and development
Santo Antônio Energia is the concession holder responsible for the construction and future operations of the Santo Antônio Hydroelectric plant (HEP), located on the River Madeira at Porto Velho, (Rondonia state), and the sale of the energy to be generated there.
The shareholders of this undertaking - currently in the construction phase and regarded as essential for the future supply of energy needed for Brazil´s development - are Eletrobras Furnas, Odebrecht Andrade Gutierrez, Cemig and Fundo de Investimentos e Participações Amazônia Energia (FIP) - led by the banks Banif and Santander and the Investment Fund of the Employees´ Indemnity Fund (FGTS). The Santo Antônio HEP is one of the main projects within the federal government´s Accelerated Growth Program (local acronym PAC).
The construction of the Santo Antônio HEP began in September 2008 and the investment cost will come to approximately R$ 15.1 billion. When it comes into operation in 2011, the HEP will be the third-largest assured power plant in Brazil with an installed power capacity of 3,150 megawatts - equivalent to 4% of all the energy generated in the country in 2007.
This project was conceived with the aim of obtaining the best operating performance and a low environmental impact, thereby ensuring that one of the largest hydroelectric undertakings in Brazil will be synonymous with sustainable development.
Due to its location in the middle of the Amazon basin, the project includes technologies and environmental studies unparalleled in Brazil. The 44 bulb-type turbines take advantage of the normal speed and flow of the River Madeira and remove the any need for large falls of water to help generate the energy. This means that a much smaller reservoir than the traditional hydroelectric plant requires can be created thereby reducing the size of the flooded area.
The project is also being undertaken with rigorous procedures to offset the environmental impacts on the regions laid down in the Basic Environmental Plan, approved by Brazil´s official environmental agency, Ibama. Santo Antônio Energia is meeting its commitments to the population affected by the project by respecting their views and behaving in a transparent manner. The company is carrying out initiatives aimed at cultural, social, environment and economic development. This has helped strengthen human contacts, encouraged local people to upgrade their skills and brought a fresh outlook to their lives.
The project is being financed with resources from the National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) through direct loans and transfers from the Investment Fund of the Employees Severance Indemnity Fund (FI-FGTS) and the Constitutional Financing Fund for the North region.