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Parana offers great investments opportunities focused on sustainability
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With the participation of Itaipu Binacional, the Paraná Government, and Sanepar, the Energy, Strategic Investments, and Sustainability for Territorial Development panel of the 4th Brazil Investment Forum (BIF) demonstrated that the state offers great opportunities for new businesses focused on sustainability. The debate, with 161 registrations, closed on the second and last day of the event promoted by the Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex), held online and which counts Itaipu among the sponsoring institutions.

Photo: Sara Cheida/Itaipu Binacional.

Itaipu was represented by the Coordination Director, General Luiz Felipe Carbonell, and the Superintendent of Environmental Management, Ariel Scheffer da Silva, who acted as the session moderator. The president of the Paraná Sanitation Company (Sanepar), Cláudio Stabile, the vice-governor of Paraná, Darci Piana, and the Itaipu counselor José Carlos Aleluia Costa also participated.

Carbonell and Piana highlighted the partnership between the state government and Itaipu to improve the regional infrastructure with several structural works, such as the construction of the second bridge with Paraguay, the expansion of the runway at the Foz International Airport, the construction of the East Overpass, among other works, totaling R$ 2.5 billion in investments by the binational company. "Paraná should become a great logistical hub in South America," said the vice-governor.

Carbonell explained that these investments in logistics and infrastructure, associated with other investments made by Itaipu in the environment (such as the maintenance of protected areas, the care taken with the region's rivers and the reservoir, the formation of the Biodiversity Corridor that links the Iguaçu and Ilha Grande national parks) and new technologies (such as research at the Itaipu Technology Park in biogas, solar photovoltaic, sodium and hydrogen batteries), have the potential to bring other investments to the region.

"Itaipu is much more than an energy generator. It is a success story of a company that has invested and continues to invest, opening opportunities for new public and private investments in the region", he said, highlighting that the revision of Annex C in 2023 (the financial part of the Itaipu Treaty) does not change the company's institutional mission, which includes the territory's sustainable development and, therefore, this effort will continue in the future.

Ariel Scheffer highlighted the centrality of the water and energy theme in the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Given the weight of hydroelectricity in Brazil, the nexus between water and energy for electricity production is quite evident. "Water is the basis for generating energy and a basic factor for health and sanitation. Therefore, both are key to post-pandemic economic recovery on a sustainable basis", he said.

Stabile, from Sanepar, also highlighted the importance of the 2030 Agenda for the company regarding the company's major goals, which are the universalization of supply and sanitation services, aligned with the SDG 6 goals. "Despite the different actions, our role (Sanepar and Itaipu) is to work alongside other players that also use water to generate wealth so that we can strengthen sustainability", he said.

On occasion, the vice-governor presented an overview of the state's main economic figures, highlighting the presence of an automotive hub responsible for the production of 500 thousand vehicles/year, the country's main paper manufacturing hub (Klabin alone is investing R$ 12.9 billion in a new plant), the presence of seven of the ten largest cooperatives in Latin America (the sector billed R$ 117 billion in 2020 and projects reaching R$ 200 billion in 2025), in addition to being the state that produces the most food per square meter in the world - among other data.

Aleluia outlined a retrospective of the power sector over the last 40 years, highlighting the Brazilian state's role in the 1970s, with the creation of Eletrosul, Furnas, Chesf, Eletronorte, and Itaipu, the injection of private capital into the sector in the 1990s, when the National Electricity Agency (Aneel) also came into operation, passing also through the investments in new forms of energy generation, such as wind, biomass, solar, and PCHs from Proinfa, and reaching the current scenario, which he considers the most attractive for private investments so far. In this sense, the counselor highlighted the Eletrobras privatization process and the project portfolio that foresees expanding the national electric sector's installed capacity by 50,000 MW in the next ten years.

As the BIF sessions were transmitted over the internet, the session was attended, in Foz do Iguaçu, by Itaipu directors General João Francisco Ferreira (Brazilian general director), Admiral Anatalicio Risden (financial), Admiral Paulo Roberto da Silva Xavier (administrative), and Mariana Favoreto Thiele (legal).