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Itaipu celebrates its 34 years of operation with a historical quadrimester
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On Saturday (5th) Itaipu Binational celebrates its 34 years of operation with reasons to commemorate: the first four months of the year recorded the highest energy production of energy of all time for the period. From January to April 2018, the hydroelectric plant generated 36,386,926 MWh, 6% higher than the first four months of 2016, the year it established the world record. This energy could meet the consumption of Brazil for 28 days or Paraguay for 2 years and 4 months. As to the accumulated generation in its 34 years of operation, 2.549.511.654 MWh have already been produced, enough to supply Brazil for 5 ½ years or the world for 41 days.
According to Itaipu's executive technical director, Mauro Corbellini, one of the reasons for the four-month record is the high rate of water use that arrives at the reservoir, which has remained above 96% since 2012. "This result is only possible with the excellence of the work directly from the entire technical and support area of the entire company, as well as a well-coordinated planning and execution work with our partners in the Paraguayan (ANDE) and Brazilian (Copel, Furnas, Eletrobrás and ONS) supply chains”, said Corbellini.
For him, production has grown over these 34 years of operation, even when considering only the period in which all 20 generating units were installed after 2007. "Production may vary depending on the hydrology of each year, but it is noticeable that it has risen", said the technical director.
As an example, he mentioned the years in which the monthly production exceeded 7.9 million MWh: in 2009, 3 months were above this mark; in 2013, 7 months and in 2016, the year of the world record, all 12 months exceeded the mark. In 2018, so far, the first four months also produced above the mark of 7.9 million MWh.
Less water, more efficiency
According to Itaipu’s Superintendent of Operations, Celso Torino, in April the period of reduction of water availability began. Throughout the month, it rained only three days in the area of the plant’s influence. If we consider only the incremental inflow, in other words, the regional rivers such as Piquiri, Ivaí and Tibagi, it was the driest April of the entire period. The average flow of the month was 11,005 cubic meters of water per second, well below the other months of the year. Still, 2018 had the third best April of all time in power generation with 8,446,344 MWh.
“Unlike previous months, as of April, and this will continue into May, which will be a turning point", Torino said. "We move from maximizing production to maximizing productivity, a special operation that prioritizes the best possible relationship between the amount of water used and the generation of energy. In other words, we’ll produce more energy with less water", he added.