Dams: when discord turns tragedy

Dams: when discord turns tragedy

The recent decision of the TRF, Brasília, aborting the legislative decree that authorized the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant, in the Xingu, brings back the discussion about the construction of dams in the country and the need for 30% of the energy produced in Brazil from hydroelectric dams in the Amazon region. Before closing the case Belo Monte, the Government prepares to enter new arapuca-the construction of the São Luiz do Tapajós, within the Amazon rainforest.

Najar Tubino (*)

The recent decision of the Federal Court, Brasilia, aborting the Legislative Decree, which authorized the construction of 788 dam Belo Monte, rio Xingu, brings back the discussion about the construction of dams in the country. Not only that. The need for 30% of the energy produced in Brazil from hydroelectric dams in the Amazon region. More than that, will take on an authoritarian model of construction, legacy of dictatorship, where instead of queries about the acceptance or not of the works are carried out technical releases, the preferred language of the bureaucrats of the electric sector.
The desembargar of TRF1, Antônio Prudente, summed up well the question in the judgment of the fifth class:
-The consultation with indigenous communities prior, there has to be posthumous. “In addition, the National Congress cannot delegate the right to hear the communities at IBAMA or FUNAI”.
Norte Energia, which gathers many partners, between State-owned enterprises of energy, Vale and Neoenergia, Spanish group Iberdrola, called the decision of Justice “inadmissible”. Considers that it has already fulfilled all the steps of consultation, says that the Indians are in favour of the works – three directly affected groups are Arara, Juruna and Xicrin. The rush is part of the authoritarian model of major works at Amazon. The builders, as Camargo Corrêa, responsible for Jirau, on the Madeira River (with a percentage of 4.9%), Odebrecht, Santo Antônio plant, also in wood, or Andrade Gutierrez, who leads in Belo Monte, never become accustomed to comply with democratic rules.
When it happened the riot in Jirau, last year, and the workers destroyed part of the accommodation, the President of the consortium led by Camargo Corrêa, Victor Paez said that “our staff” is taking care of this, along with the military police:
-We need to nip in the bud, completed it, at the time.
Our staff is as they call the private security, military or former military personnel usually commanded by. At the end of the Decade of 1970, in a visit without permission to the project of billionaire Daniel Ludwig in the Jari project, on the border between the Amapá and Pará, met the method of construction. When it happened a turmoil of this type, downloaded in Monte Dourado, Jari, a platoon of army, Boeing, because the company had an airline Monte Dourado-Belém-Miami. At the time the only thing the State within the three million hectares that the American said, was a stand of the Ministry of labour. It happened in 1979.
The world of the great works in the Amazon has not changed, mainly in the electrical industry. Before closing the case Belo Monte, the federal Government prepares to enter new arapuca-the construction of the São Luiz do Tapajós, within the rainforest, an area surrounded by parks and conservation areas. The first decision was given: the “appropriation” of a part of the Amazon National Park. For four years, a group of researchers raised data on the biodiversity of the region, a study to show the importance of conservation areas. This Decree the “appropriation”, which becomes law in Congress.
Without consulting anyone. The appropriation is reduced, anyway, ate a park area to carry out environmental impact studies and after releasing the construction of usina São Luiz do Tapajós. This is the terminology of the sclerotic capitalism. Burned is heat, discontinue is when closing a factory and have the workers though.
The case is much more serious. In addition to the cancellation of the Belo Monte dam, also of the Teles Pires, in the region of Alta Floresta, on the border between Mato Grosso and Pará was also reached. The decennial plan of energy, energy research company, linked to the Ministry of mines and energy, lists 11 power plants for the Amazon region and which should run until 2019. The plan defines the potential of each bowl. For example, the Amazon River has the potential of 106 thousand MW (mega watt), the rio Tapajós 10 thousand MW, the Tocantins 12 thousand MW, the Teles Pires 6 thousand MW.
The technocrats of the electric sector set in the head that Amazon will be the major source of energy in the country in the coming years. No matter who is in the way. Or if Brazil is a signatory of the Convention 169 of the international labour organisation which requires prior consultation with indigenous communities, in the case of works that reach their fields. In the first step entered the plants on the Madeira River, with almost 7 thousand MW, Jirau and Santo Antônio, the second has already begun to generate energy with two turbines. Jirau delayed because of the riot. Proprietary companies sell 15% of energy generated in the free market, so the sooner they start the operation, more Bill.
In the second step the Belo Monte dam, considered the third largest in the world after the three Gorges Dam in China (22 thousand MW or 18 thousand MW, depending on the source), and Itaipu, with 14 thousand MW, counting the part of Paraguay, Brazil that matter. Belo Monte will have capacity of 11 thousand MW, although electric technocracy uses only report that 4,500 MW. The plants on the Madeira River, even before completing the works, increased by four turbines to power enterprise, meant little more than 200 MW of generation. In the case of Jirau say that cost $ 1 billion, in addition to the 15. Who will spend in iron, steel, concrete, turbines, logistics – bought 700 heavy machinery and large trucks to 540 work-, 20 thousand employees, and use less than half the power?
Along with Belo Monte, two plants in the Teles Pires. They are works in progress. Belo Monte has nine thousand workers. Following the planning, Tapajós plants that have not yet been bidded and nor did the environmental impact study. To bid has to be environmental license release. Suddenly begin to plummet in Riverside villages, such as Village Patel, with 760 people in rio Tapajós teams of builders, Camargo Corrêa and Eletrobras, raising region data. The villagers drove the individuals, who never answer the questions that the inhabitants of the region want to know.
What matters is the following: how many points of handling and trouble at the same time in the Amazon. Altamira, in the Xingu River will flood 1/3 of the almost 100 thousand inhabitants, mostly in the countryside. But the areas affected indigenous communities, Macaw and Jana Xicrin. Many coastal communities preserving the forest, planted in conjunction with the native forest 70 million feet of cocoa. It was a project of sustainable agriculture. Altamira do not have 20% of treated water, throw the waste in a landfill, and in 2010 had an epidemic of dengue fever.
Porto Velho, already is terminating the cycle peak of plants, employment and movement of money; the population increased from 296 to 464 thousand, 2006 here. The number of cars of 60 thousand to 186 mil. Built five viaducts in the BR-364 predicting possible traffic jams. Are incomplete. The TCU interdicted the sanitation of $ 120 million for overpricing. What will stay?
There was a miscalculation on Lake dam, and 117 houses of a neighborhood of the capital were flooded. In some regions, such as Jacy in Paraná, Jirau area, the water table is rising. About errors and incompetence of the electricity sector will comment below.
In the same ten-year Plan of EPE is reported the following:
-“Generation expansion studies highlight the need for the entry into operation of a set of 33 plants in the period 2015-19 which, added to the enterprises in construction (19) or already tendered, however with Unstarted work (9), totaling 61 power plants in order of 43 thousand MW.”
The deployment of 61 projects is in the plan, highlights the need for an area of 7,687 km2, referring to the reservoirs of power plants, representing a ratio of 0, 18 km ² per MW. The average of existing plants is 0, 49 km ²/MW. And a forest area affected 4,892 km². This universe 18 projects interfere with conservation units, directly, 15 3 indirectly by reaching or crossing the buffer zone of the units.
“It is estimated that will be affected 108,646 inhabitants in the urban area and 29,655 78,991 in rural area. Four projects interfere directly on indigenous lands, nine near you, or interfere with any resource used in the relations between indigenous groups. On the other hand will be generated 166,432 direct jobs at the peak of construction and is estimated around R$614 million in environmental compensation “, details the EPE.
I did a calculation of areas affected by current and former – average is 0, 31 km ² per MW. A 1000 MW power plant are 310 km ² of area the most, almost Lake Belo Monte. Tucuruí, in Tocantins River, built in 1984, has almost 2.5 thousand square kilometers of area flooded. With rotting forest and releasing methane.
To sum up: we have buildings over the next seven years in the rivers Tapajós, Jamanxim (tributary), Apiakás, Teles Pires, Tocantins, in addition to the Xingu. Our installed capacity will give a jump of 103 GW (1,000 mega watts) to 167 GW. Little interested in the trail of tragedies that the dams will leave behind. And here the discord will turn to tragedy.
The Brazil has demarcated indigenous lands are 608, 109 million hectares (13% of the territory), 98% in the Amazon, according to the last IBGE survey the indigenous population grew 11% from 2000, and is now 817 thousand people, being 42% living outside of villages. In Brazil the economic elite, and agribusiness, mining companies consider that the indigenous areas are disproportionate by population size. Do not consider the history, way of life, the culture, or the simple need for survival of a people, not a region, a city or a neighborhood. It is easy to change or plan a new city. How will transfer a people and its history?
This same type of people does not consider that those affected will react, fight against the invasion or flood or the exploitation of their lands. Remembered the peoples Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where approximately 1300 natives were present. Discussed a lot about the ILO Convention 169, and reaction. In a small bankroll, in fact a makeshift table, an Indian, painted with jenipapo in the face, glasses, always with a laptop connected. At the table only one track: we need warriors. And an acronym-MRI, Indigenous revolutionary movement. The Indian tribe is Potiguara, Paraíba, lives in Lagoa do Mato, in the reserve of the tribe, where they live 10 thousand people. His name is Turié, is the only Indian political exile in Brazil. Went to Canada in 1990, a year after his political asylum accepted by the Government. It was about 20 years out. Had been arrested and tortured in Brazil, if you are registered with a request for amnesty in the Ministry of justice.
In addition to fighting to resume the 30 thousand hectares that stole the Potiguara, booking of a titanium mine, Tuié want the investigation of acts of the dictatorship against the indigenous tribes in Brazil. Many atrocities, such as the case of the waimiri-atroaris, macaws, of suruís, that need to be investigated by the Truth Commission. Or the history of the indigenous is not part of the history of the country. Tuié told me:
“We got it from for concrete actions, direct, against what is happening. Still going to die very Indian in Brazil. “
A few days ago, three engineers of Power were retained in the village North Paquiçamba, macaws, for a week. Didn’t know how to explain to the Indians as they would browse with their canoes on the River Xingu barrado, mean, banned by cofferdams, provisional barriers used in the construction of the Dam spillway. How will the access? More: North Energy used a hypocritical strategy to play the works, while accelerated the pace. Paid an “allowance” of $ 30 thousand per village in goods and utensils used by the Indians for a few months. Cut in the month of July. Commented about the request of Indians from four-wheel vans. All this to take advantage of the drought and spreads the Xingu. If not now, and start to rain (from October), splintered the work performed.
Everyone has haste. But Brazil does not grow 5%, as it is in the decennial plan. On the contrary, was 3.2 last year and might not reach the 3% this year. The professor of the Instituto de Economia (UFRJ), Adilson de Oliveira, made this calculation in the past year. If the Brazil grew on average 4% and energy consumption until 2015, there would be a greedy leftover energy of 6mil average MW, 6, against 2,500 today. as a consequence the margin to spare would increase a lot, instead of 5 to 7% today, to something around 11.2%, in the scenario of lower growth in the economy. This represents a change of scenery should generate a profound reassessment of the national investment plan for energy, said the teacher, and the federal Government should rethink the investment in hydraulic Park in the Amazon. The current generation of hydroelectric power is average and 58 thousand MW with the generation that is designed to come to 71.5 thousand MW.
There are many other parameters that can be discussed about energy efficiency. The Inter-American Development Bank says that each $ 1 invested in efficiency are $ 3 spared in generation. That in the years, results in billions can be invested in other areas. The Procel, official energy efficiency program created in 1985 and which spared 28.5 million MWh, the equivalent to the consumption of 16.3 million households, or a higher power 6,841 MW, the two on the Madeira River. We can also cite the project implemented by the National Confederation of industries involving the sectors that consume energy as iron and steel, food and beverages, metals, paper and cellulose. Were 217 projects in 13 sectors, applied R$161 million and a demand prevented from 87MW. The exchange of boilers, compressors, compressed air motors, lamps and cooling machines end up with excessive spending, and with the waste.
Energy waste data from the International Energy Agency revolve around 10%. In Brazil the number reaches 17.5%, 4.2% and 13.3% in distribution, consumption is due to losses in equipment or theft. In fact the Brazil will enter the era of “smart grid”, or smart meters in the coming years. We change 63 million meters, so that consumers know the appliances that consume the most, the cost of energy in the peaks, or what is more efficient. Are $ 36 billion in investments until 2020. First we construct dams, banish some indigenous and traditional people, shattering one of the biggest climate performance systems of the planet, which is the Amazon, and finally install smart meters.
There are some facts that made me discredit in technocratic and authoritarian system efficiency and electric. In November 2009, blackout hit 18 States, left Sao Paulo four hours without light, there was a problem in substation of Itaberá (SP), which acts as a crossroads. Receives energy from Itaipu and also in the South of the country. At the time were lost more than 28 thousand MW. The cause was a storm that dropped at night. Many spoke about the substation. After a report by Aneel found with pictures of the State of para-lightning-cracked, frayed, obsolete equipment, with more than 25 years of use. The responsible substation (Furnas) had already been warned and did not return. The most impressive was the rain gauge of the substation: a glass demijohn with a funnel, to measure the amount of rainfall. In the case cited, measured in the morning, only 0, 3 mm. The other day – measuring only once per day-pointed 36 mm, which is a Toro.
Worse than that only the auction of 2008, where the thermal Bertin, fridge group at the time, with some concessions of highways, was wanting to enter the area of infrastructure. Energy in Brazil auctions are held every 3 and 5 years, always in advance to predict future demand. The winning company will generate a certain amount of energy. The Baluch took seven thermal plants, moved the diesel oil and fuel oil. Not finished no. Still had bought the other three in the Northeast, in addition to committing to a power plant in the port of Pecém, Ceará, with Petrobras – in this case, moved the gas. Summary of the Opera: defaulted on more than $ is 400 million in electric power Compensation Chamber. Wants to return four plants that never came out of the paper. Sold two to Eike Batista. And left Petrobras with a monkey in his hand, I mean on paper.
Finally we have the enlightening of Pará, which aims to be a pole of the aluminum industry – has four projects in the State. The Albras, in Barcarena is the oldest. Is part of a group of Japanese companies that buy 49% of production. The remaining 51% of the company was sold to Valley, the Norwegian group Norsk Hydro, Mineração Rio do Norte (bauxite in Oriximiná), Alcoa in Juruti (bauxite), Hydro Paragominas (bauxite) and Votorantim Metais, Rondon do Pará (bauxite and alumina production). Are industries that consume a lot of energy. Albras has contract with Tucuruí until 2024, at a cost of $ 72MW. The international mining companies say price is $ 40. A company like Anglo American is building a nickel factory in the border with Minas and Rio de Janeiro. The energy consumption of the plant is the equivalent of 10% of the consumption of the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Who distributes the energy in Pará is the Celpa, Network Group, Energy entrepreneur Jorge Queiroz junior, which went bankrupt in March of that year, after the filing for reorganization. In the explanatory notes on the balance sheet of the company last year a sum of r $ 7.5 million was invested in bonds – is not specified if it was scratch or tele sena. The Celpa is the record holder in light cuts in $ 600 million to Brazil, should $ 1 billion to banks and Eletrobras.
And the Government of Pará wants to deploy an industrial pole, who knows with aluminum factories in Altamira, with the energy of Belo Monte and the Tapajós. In 1970 and 80, the military who wanted to a transformation of the Amazon, first as the projects of colonization of INCRA, leading South settler families, without the slightest experience or knowledge of the region. Deployed the Transamazon Highway, which is a pale imitation of the road, just to integrate the region to the rest of the country. The other was to turn bauxite into aluminum and be an industrial center. It was expected the aluminum consumption tripled. The hypothesis has never been confirmed. Companies export alumina, which is the raw material for aluminum, or manufactured products. The Brazil consumes just over 1.4 million tonnes. Now with the economic crisis in rich countries, companies are thinking domestically.



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