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Itaipu closes december with best monthly generation in its history
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At the end of December, as the best generation month of its history, the Itaipu plant arrived at the end of 2017 with surprising production and efficiency figures, equivalent to those obtained only in years of favorable hydrological conditions. There are 96,387,357 megawatt-hours (MWh) throughout the year and 9,257,670 MWh in December. In history, it is the fourth largest annual mark in 33 years and seven months of operation.
December 2017 hit the months of December record of 8.89 million MWh and so far exceeded the record monthly output of 9.1 million MWh in July 2012. The rains in recent months, as well as those that have fallen over the last few days along the Paraná River Basin, have allowed Itaipu to beat this record.
The binational plant also contributed to a decrease in the use of thermoelectric plants. With this, as January the tariff of the electric sector happens to be green, without the additional cost to the consumer.
The 9.2 million MWh of the month would be sufficient to serve Brazil for six days, the city of São Paulo for three and a half months, and Foz do Iguaçu, in Paraná, where the plant is located on the Brazilian side, for 16 years and a half.
Top five
The year 2017 places Itaipu in the “top five” of the operation. The best marks were achieved in 2016, when the plant obtained the world record of annual production, with 103.1 million MWh; in 2013, with 98.6 million MWh; in 2012, with 98.3 million MWh, and in 2008, with 94.7 million MWh. With production of 96.4 million MWh, 2017 surpassed the position of 2018 in the ranking. The average is 98.2 million MWh.
The production of Itaipu in 2017 could meet the consumption of Brazil for 72 days; the city of São Paulo for three years and three months; and Foz do Iguaçu for 173 years. For the Brazilian director general of Itaipu, Luiz Fernando Leone Vianna, establishing an average of 98.2 million MWh of clean and renewable energy production among the best five years is truly a feat, achieved thanks to the dedication and efficiency of the binational team of Itaipu. He points out that four of the five best years of production have occurred in the last six years, in an almost always adverse water situation.
The director reminds that Itaipu holds both the annual production and accumulated energy record since the beginning of the operation in May 1984, with 2.5 billion MWh completed in November of this year. This production would be enough to serve the planet for 41 days, Brazil for five years and Foz do Iguaçu for 4.5 thousand years.
“To accumulate these two marks is as if we dare to dream with Neymar scoring 13 goals in the Russian cup. He would earn the record for the competition by trying up with Frenchman Just Fontaine, who scored 13 goals in 1958 and a record of 17 goals (Neymar scored four in 2014), beating German Klose, who accumulated 16 goals,” jokes the Brazilian director general of the plant. And Vianna gives a message in the same tone: “May Itaipu inspire the national team and our player Neymar in 2018.”
Another relevant piece of data is efficiency. In recent years, the plant has always had this index above 95%. According to the Superintendent of Operations, Celso Torino, Itaipu, like any other company or hydroelectric plant, has several indices of efficiency and productivity. “One of the most important, which permeates the whole technical area of the company, is the one that measures how much water that passed through the plant was effectively transformed into energy,” he explains. 
According to Torino, in the last six years, this index has remained above 95%. In 2017, efficiency was 98%. “With 2017, Itaipu has been consistently maintaining this index above 95% for six years,” he adds.
Brazilian director general Luiz Fernando Leone Vianna adds that ensuring the best efficiency ratios is a complex task, requiring a lot of alignment between internal areas such as Engineering, Construction and Assembly, Maintenance and Operation, as well as a refined coordination with the external partners such as Eletrobras, Ande, ONS, Furnas and Copel.
More performance
Other important indices for obtaining an efficient result are the availability of generating units, which reached 97.1% this year and was the highest in the history, as well as the forced unavailability of the generating units, which reflects the untimely interruption of the operation of a generator due to faulty equipment or operating and maintenance workers. The forced unavailability, this year, reached only 0.1%.
And, finally, the specific index of human failures of real-time operation with impact on production, which in 2017 was zero.