The current Belo Monte project is very different from the original Kararaô project presented in 1989. The layout employed 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 venture.
Belo Monte is characterized by two reservoirs interconnected by a 20-km bypass channel. The Main Reservoir, formed by the Xingu River, measures 359 km2. The Intermediate Reservoir, with 199 km2, was formed by 28 dikes and transposition channels.
The main engineering challenges achieved in this venture include, the production of 69 million m³ of landfill, the excavation of 166 million m³ of land and rock, and the pouring of 3 million m³ of concrete overin a period of 4.2 years. In terms of land and rock movement works, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant overcomes the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world.