The Santo Antônio Hydroelectric Plant is a strategic project to develop the North region of the country and the State of Rondônia in particular, where it is located, 7 km from the capital, Porto Velho. The project is included in the Federal Government’s Growth Acceleration Program (PAC).
The more visible and immediate benefits to the region are absorption of labor and payment of royalties to the state of Rondônia, the municipality of Porto Velho and the Federal Government. A total of 420 members of staff have been directly contracted for the development and approximately 800 hired for specific projects, such as biologists, archeologists, sociologists, environmental and forest engineers. With regards to royalties, the value will provide a total of BRL 100 million a year from November 2016, when the plant is operating at full power. Of this total, 45% will be allocated to Porto Velho, a further 45 % to Rondônia and the remainder to the Federal Government. The Public Authority will therefore receive an increase in the volume of available resources which may be directed to expanding public projects and services to benefit the population.
Both the payment of royalties and the absorption of labor encourage industrial and commercial activity in the region, which registered a significant boost while the project was still in the construction phase, on account of the income generation it provided.
However, the Santo Antônio Hydroelectric Plant is strategic for local development, especially as it provides an expanded supply and increase in quality and reliable electrical energy. It will allocate up to an average of 600 megawatts to Rondônia by 2016, when it will start to operate at full power, allowing the gradual disconnection of traditional thermoelectric plants. These are characterized by high operating costs and a large volume of pollutant gas emissions.
Improvements to the provision of electrical energy and advances in integration with other localities are factors of sustainable economic development for its capacity to promote new businesses and attract capital to develop industry, commerce and local services.