At the Itaipu Dam

Construction of the hydroelectric site started in 1971 with the first power generated in 1984

We took a free tour around the Itaipu Dam built on the Parana River between Paraguay and Brazil. It was a massive joint venture between the two countries; both at the time headed up by dictators.

China’s Three Gorges Dam has greater potential capacity to generate electricity but because the Parana River has less seasonal flow differences, Itaipu usually produces more electricity each year; much to the Paraguayans delight!

In a promotional video we learnt of the CO2 saved, but we weren’t told of the loss of the Guaira Falls – the world’s biggest by flow until they went under the Itaipu reservoir.

The Itaipu Dam provides 75% of Paraguay’s needs and 17% of Brazil’s. It cost $19bn to construct and employs 3,000 people.

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