The current Belo Monte project is very different from the original Kararaô project presented in 1989. The arrangement used significantly increased efficiency and social and environmental protection through measures that included a reduction of the reservoir area from 1,225 km2 to 478 km2. This ensured that no indigenous land was flooded by the enterprise.
Belo Monte is characterized by two reservoirs interconnected by a bypass channel with a length of 20 km. The Main Reservoir, formed by the Xingu River, has 359 km2. The Intermediate Reservoir, with 199 km2, was formed by 28 dikes and transposition channels.
Among the main engineering challenges achieved in this project, the production of 69 million m³ of landfill, the excavation of 166 million m³ of land and rock, and the launch of 3 million m³ of concrete in a period of 4.2 years. In terms of the movement of land and rock works, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant overcomes the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world.