• Client : ESBR Consortium (GDF SUEZ, Eletrosul, Chesf and Camargo Corrêa)
  • Period : From 2008 to 2012
  • Country : Americas, Brazil
  • Market : Energy, Hydropower Large Hydropower
  • Domain / Subdomain : Conceptual & Basic design (FEED), Detailed Design Environmental Impact Assessment & Permitting EXECUTION FEASIBILITY Owner’s or Lender’s Engineer

The Jirau Hydroelectric Power Plant, located on the Madeira River, is one of the main hydroelectric projects that the Brazilian government has developed in the northern region of Brazil. Jirau is located about 150km from the city of Porto Velho, in the State of Rondônia.

The Jirau HPP’s design foresees in a 302.6km² reservoir and a 3,750 megawatt (MW) installed capacity.
The civil works were started in 2009. Our scope of services comprises:

  • Owner’s Engineering
  • Environmental impact assessment (EIA/EIR)
  • Basic design
  • Detailed design of the cofferdams for the First Phase River Diversion

With the significant amount of rock excavation required at the originally proposed Jirau site (65 million m³) in mind, Tractebel Engineering proposed an alternative dam site downstream. This proposal reduced the need for rock excavation by no less than 77%. This change greatly helped the ESBR consortium to win the bid for the dam’s concession.

Licences were expected to be delivered at the beginning of the flood season. Tractebel Engineering proposed another change to the layout of the dam and the first phase river diversion. This allowed the cofferdams to be closed during peak flow of the Madeira river, thereby preventing a one year delay in power generation start-up.

Moreover, Tractebel Engineering developed hydrologic and hydraulic studies that made an upgrade of the power house’s energy production possible. We managed to raise the installed capacity from 3,300 to 3,750 MW, without increasing the cost of the spillways, dams and cofferdams or the burden on the environment.