Documenting Belo Monte Dam's Risks: Buyer Beware
In January 2011, International Rivers and Brazilian NGO Amigos da Terra - Amazônia Brasileira launched a report based on vast documentation that found a litany of risks in Belo Monte that threaten not only local populations and the environment, but also entrepreneurs, project lenders and investors, and Brazilian taxpayers. The risks include:
- Uncertainties regarding the cost of construction arising from geological factors, engineering questions and instability in market values.
- Financial risks related to the project's potential capacity to generate electrical energy, which is far inferior to installed capacity, due to the high seasonality of the Xingu river (that will tend to worsen under scenarios of climate change).
- High risks associated with legal obligations to invest in mitigation and compensation measures related to social and environmental impacts of the project.
- Risks due to national and international legal principles on human rights and environmental protection being ignored during the planning and licensing of this complex and highly controversial project.
If project construction continues, investors will become jointly liable for ensuing social and environmental damage, with grave risks in terms of negative financial, legal and reputational consequences.
Download the Executive Summary in English.
Download Mega-projeto, Mega-riscos: Análise de Riscos para Investidores no Complexo Hidrelétrico Belo Monte (in Portuguese).
- Press Release: Risky Business in the Amazon
- Lack of Private Sector in Belo Monte Consortium Signals Investor Concerns Over Financial Risks
- Risk Notification Letter to BNDES Presented by Brazilian Environmental Organizations
- Belo Monte, "The Worst Engineering Project in the History of Brazil"
- Visit the campaign