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Itaipu breaks new record and foresees one of its best years in terms of energy production
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Itaipu plant’s production in 2018 is the largest in its history for the first five months of the year. On Tuesday (29th), the plant exceeded 43,062,656 megawatts-hour (MWh) recorded from January to May 2016 – the year of the previous record. The estimate is to end the month with 43,600,000 MWh.
Itaipu's performance during the first months of the year means that the technical area plans to finish the semester with a production above 50 million MWh, which has only happened three times since the plant started generating power in 1984. For the year, the goal is to be among the five best performances in its history.
The Brazilian general director, Marcos Stamm, believes that the high productivity is only possible thanks to the commitment and qualification of the company's professional staff. "Above all, it is the result of this team’s efforts", he acknowledged.
According to him, "Itaipu is always surpassing itself, generating more energy and providing the balance that the country needs to grow. This is our role”.
Executive technical director, Mauro José Corbellini, explained that the plant’s high performance is a result of the combination of four key factors for energy production: water availability (rainfall), equipment (generating units), transmission lines and demand (the energy consumption needs of Brazilians and Paraguayans).
Of the four factors, the least predictable feature is water. "We cannot control when whether or not it will rain. So we have made a great effort to optimize the use of water", he said. "We want to avoid that this this water, instead of going through the turbines (generating energy), is wasted in the spillway".
The effects of this collective effort couldn’t be better. Over the last five years, the availability index of generating units has always been above 96%. Last year, Itaipu set the 97.3% milestone, a historical record. The water utilization index that reaches Itaipu, for energy production, also surpassed 96% over the last few years (reaching 98%).
In 2016, Itaipu established the historic annual production mark of 103 million MWh. "Itaipu's productivity has been fundamental so we can achieve these results", said Operation Superintendent, Celso Torino.