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Itaipu reaches historical target and prepares for technological update of the plant
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19/02/2020

The only plant in the world with accumulated production above 2 billion Megawatts-hours (MWh), Itaipu spikes, this Friday (14), 2.7 billion MWh produced since 1984. Thus, the binational establishes a front of more than 1 billion MWh over the second place, the Guri plant (Venezuela), which generated 1.6 billion MWh. The Chinese plant Três Gargantas and the American Grand Coulee come in third and fourth places, with 1.3 billion and 1.1 billion MWh, respectively.

A ceremony at the plant, last Friday (14) morning, in Foz do Iguaçu, celebrated the milestone. The ceremony brought together the entire Executive Board and about 300 employees, most of the Technical Board, but also people from other areas who also help Itaipu break successive production and productivity records.
 
More than setting records, the achievement further reinforces Itaipu's strategic importance for the infrastructure of Brazil and Paraguay. “What this amount of energy means surprises us. But the main thing is to know that this is a potential that is available to Brazil and Paraguay and still has much to contribute to the well-being and development of our peoples”, said Brazilian Director General, General Joaquim Silva e Luna.
 
Paraguayan Director General Ernst Ferdinand Bergen Schmidt highlighted the individual contribution of each worker, from the beginning of the construction of the dam to the present day, all of which enabled us to have an organization such as Itaipu, “number one in accumulated production, in production efficiency and protected areas”. “And looking at the challenges of the future, we also want to become number one in transparency and management in an increasingly competitive and demanding market”, he added.
 
With high rates of productivity and the availability of the generating units (indexes that also reached records last year), energy production at Itaipu cannot stop (on average, the company adds 100 million MWh to its accumulated production every 14 months). Thus, the 2.7 billion MWh can already be seen "in the rearview mirror" and the company focuses on the process of technological updating of the plant, to continue producing with maximum efficiency.

In all, it will take about 14 years to upgrade the generating units, with an investment of USD 650 million.  Launched in December last year, the bidding process is expected to select the winning party in the second semester this year. The Executive Technical Director, Celso Villar Torino, pointed out that forced unavailability (unscheduled machine stops) is very close to zero at Itaipu.
 
“But machines have a life spam. We may lose in efficiency if we don't make that investment”, said Torino. “And the process will take 14 years because we don't want there to be an impact on the supply of energy to the Brazilian and Paraguayan citizens. It's like changing the equipment of a plane in mid-flight”, he added.

The upgrade process will also serve to promote new business in Parque Tecnológico Itaipu (PTI). “We are focused on the sustainability of the PTI and we believe that the technological update process of the plant will be an excellent opportunity to attract technology-based companies to this ecosystem that we have in the site, which already includes excellence laboratories and centers, as in the areas of safety of dams and electrical systems", said PTI’s managing director, General Eduardo Castanheira Garrido Alves.