Owing to a number of judicial actions slowing the privatisation of Brazil’s largest federal energy generation company, Furnas Centrais Eletricas, the Tucurui dam concession and its proposed expansion may be auctioned first.

The 4000MW Tucurui dam, currently Brazil’s second largest, has been operating since 1984. The new concessionary will have to build a new powerhouse and raise installed capacity to 8125MW. The idea of Tucurui’s accelerated privatisation was announced by energy minister Rudolpho Tourinho in early August.

Tucurui dam will also be a focal point for the World Commission on Dams, which has selected it as one of its case studies. WCD secretary-general Achim Steiner said: ‘The Tucurui study will demonstrate the long road travelled in conducting environmental assessments of dams, and how Brazil’s strategy with respect to assessing dams and their alternatives has evolved over time.’ The case study will be used in the Commission’s final report to be published in June 2000.