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Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant

The largest generator of clean and renewable energy on the planet.

 

If Iguazu River is home to one of the seven wonders of nature, on the Paraná River, just 38 km away, is one of the seven wonders of engineering, according to a list prepared by the United States’ Civil Engineering Association, after hearing from specialists from around the world: the Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant, a joint development by Brazilians and Paraguayans.

 

Responsible for almost 20% of Brazil’s electricity consumption and more than 90% of Paraguay's, Itaipu is gigantic in all senses of the word. The largest in the world in electricity generation, Itaipu is formed by a dam measuring 7,919 meters long and 196 meters high, the equivalent of a 65-floor building.

 

Construction of the dam consumed 12.3 million cubic meters of concrete, enough to build 210 football stadiums like Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro. The iron and steel used was enough to construct 380 towers like the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

 

The plant’s spillway, used to drain water not used for generation, has the capacity to discharge 62,200 m3/s, 40 times more than the average flow of the Iguassu Falls.

 

Besides gigantic, since its foundation, Itaipu has manifested great care in the conservation of the environment. At the time of forming the reservoir, which covers an area of 1,350 km2, a large scale operation removed animals from the areas to be flooded, to be returned later to nature, in one of the biological sanctuaries and reserves created by Itaipu.

 

Constructed on an area previously devastated, on the Brazilian side, through agricultural practices, Itaipu launched the biggest reforestation program developed in the world by a hydroelectric development, planting over 20 million native tree seedlings in the reservoir’s protection area.

 

The actions also included the recovery of streams and springs throughout the Paraná 3 Basin, an area of direct or indirect influence in the reservoir.

 

More information: www.turismoitaipu.com.br

Brazil: 0800 645 4645 / [email protected]

 

Visits to the Plant

 

Open to visits since 1977, while still under construction, the Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant has welcomed some 16 million visitors since then, on both the Brazilian and Paraguayan sides.

 

With the creation of the Itaipu Tourist Complex, visits on the Brazilian side were split into three types of outings:

 

Special Circuit: Visits to the interior of the dam, in a special bus. Prior to the trip, visitors watch a film about Itaipu. Service is provided by bilingual monitors, with an itinerary to follow.

 

More information: www.turismoitaipu.com.br

Brazil: 0800 645 4645 / [email protected]

Paraguay: (061) 599-8040 / fax: (061) 599-8045

 

Panoramic Visit: Conducted in double-decker buses, the visit stops at strategic points for the best views of the plant, such as the central observatory from where best views of the dam and spillway are contemplated.

 

The buses guarantee greater accessibility to people with special needs and facilitate photography and filming. Prior to leaving, a documentary on Itaipu is shown, in the cinema located in the Visitors Reception Center. The visit lasts approximately one and a half hours.

 

More information: www.turismoitaipu.com.br

 

Dam Lighting: Set to a special score, the dam is gradually lit by a complex set of reflectors and lamps. At the end, through the contrast of lights and the dark of night, the illuminated hydroelectric plant seems even bigger. Visitors watch the spectacle from the same central observatory that offers a view of Itaipu’s operation during the day.

 

 

Electric Vehicle Test Drive: The hydroelectric plant can be viewed in a very exclusive manner: from behind the wheel of a silent, non-pollutant electrical vehicle.

 

The electric vehicle, one of the prototypes assembled at the actual plant, can be tested by a driver and up to two passengers, who can take turns behind the wheel.

 

The outing, similar to the Panoramic Visit – around 20 km –, is accompanied by a monitor, who provides detailed information on the plant, the route being taken, the Electric Vehicle Project and Itaipu's environmental actions.

 

Prior to boarding the EV, visitors watch an institutional video on Itaipu. While onboard the electric car, visitors pass by the Piracema Canal, the Spillway Observatory, the Central observatory, the Penstocks, the Top of the Concrete Dam and the Rock-fill Dam.

 

To drive an electric vehicle it is necessary to have a valid Driving License and to sign a term of responsibility. Every day at 9 am, 10 am, 2 pm and 3 pm

 

Porto Kattamaram: Navigating through the tranquil waters of the vast lake created by the Itaipu dam onboard the Kattamaram boat is one of the many unforgettable trips you can experience in Foz do Iguaçu.

 

The boat trips, which last a little over an hour, are a new attraction in the Itaipu Tourism Complex. There are four trips daily, in the morning and the afternoon. On Friday and Saturday, there is also a trip at night, after the Lighting of the Dam.

 

The boat leaves from Kattamaram Port, inside the power plant, which is included on the Panoramic View and Special Tour routes.  The port has a restaurant, pier and a deck from which to appreciate the beauty of Itaipu Lake.

 

The Kattamaram trip follows all safety norms. The route is geo-referenced and marked with buoys that are lit up at night, ensuring tourists' safety. The trip also includes the same individual insurance coverage that is already provided to visitors at other Itaipu attractions.

 

The vessel, which is 35 meters long, is well equipped, with a covered deck, bar, a space for shows and a solarium. There are a myriad of trip options for up to 200 people at a time.

 

Additional information available at: www.turismoitaipu.com.br

Brazil: 0800 645 4645 / [email protected]

 

 

Bela Vista Biological Sanctuary

 

An animal protection unit created by Itaipu in the 1970s to provide a home for the animals displaced by the flooding of the reservoir. It is a center of fauna and flora research, including studies on the reproduction of wild animals in captivity and the production of forest species seedlings.

 

At the sanctuary, visitors can walk along trails through the middle of lush forest, with a close up look at animals like jaguars, Tufted Capuchin and opossums, native to the region of the reservoir.

 

Or, see native forest species like the Split Leaf Philodendron, which grows by intertwining among Angico trees aged approximately 300 years, measuring 26 meters high and 3.5 meters in circumference.

 

The walks, up to two hours long, call for the use of suitable footwear and clothing.

 

Visits are from Tuesday to Saturday, from 8 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4:30 pm, on Sundays from 8 am to 12 pm and on Mondays from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

 

More information: www.turismoitaipu.com.br

Brazil: 0800 645 4645 / [email protected]



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