The projects – Estreito (1087MW), Pai Querê (292MW) and Itaocara (195MW) – are three of 24 strategic power projects identified by the government. However, Ibama only has licensing jurisdiction over 10 of them, those which are on rivers crossing more than one state. The other 14 are under the jurisdiction of state authorities.
Of the 10 projects under Ibama’s purview, the 150MW Couto Magalhaes and 50MW Itumirim projects in Goiás state were found to be unfeasible. The remaining five have already been licensed.
Meanwhile, Ibama has announced that it is starting up a special unit to deal with the licensing of power projects. According to a recent survey, 26 hydroelectric power projects totalling 5,500MW installed capacity and US$4.8B investment has not commenced due to environmental licensing problems since 2000. By the end-2004, Ibama plans to make the whole licensing process available over the internet after investing US$522,869 to computerise the system.