The Energy Research Corporation (Empresa de Pesquisa Energética) (EPE), which is housed in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, has begun work on a new inventory of the country’s hydroelectric potential.
The last such survey was in 1960. The EPE is expected to provide a much clearer and exact situation report.
The president of the EPE, Maurício Tolmasquim, says there are estimates that Brazil has used only 25% of its available hydroelectric potential.
He adds that the new survey will also take into consideration, besides economic efficiency factors, the issue of socio-environmental impact.
The EPE has already begun contracting private engineering firms to start surveying in the Amazon region.
Presidential Chief of Staff (ministra da Casa Civil), Dilma Rousseff, announced earlier this years that beginning in May the Brazilian government will accept tender offers for the construction of six new hydroelectric power plants.
Rousseff reported that two of the plants will be on the Madeira River (the Amazon River’s main tributary) and the other four will be Mauá (361 MW), state of Paraná; Dardanelos (261 MW), state of Mato Grosso; Barra do Pomba (80 MW), state of Rio de Janeiro; and Cambuci (50 MW), also in Rio de Janeiro.