The increasing demand for power in Brazil may provide Paraguay with an opportunity to sell part of its share of the power generated by the Itaipu hydro project in Brazil.

The 12,600MW hydro project, on the Parana river, was developed by Brazil and Paraguay under a treaty signed in 1973.

At present, the 196m high dam generates about 89TWh of electricity annually, and supplies over 25% of the power consumed in Brazil, and about 80% of the electricity used by Paraguay — mostly in the capital city Asuncion.

It is thought that Paraguay can replace its Itaipu electricity with power generated at Yacyretá, if Asuncion is connected to Yacyretá with a 500kV transmission line.

The power shortage in Brazil is driving the country to consider possibly constructing the transmission line at a cost of US$90M, so that it can purchase some of Paraguay’s Itaipu power.