Project evolution

1975 – Eletronorte begins the Hydroelectric Inventory studies on the Xingu River Basin. The first mapping of the river and the dam localization project are carried out.

1980 – Upon completion of the inventory, studies to build the Altamira Hydroelectric Complex begin, comprising the Babaquara (6,600 MW) and Kararaô (11,000 MW) plants - the latter gave rise to the Belo Monte HPP. According to the studies conducted in the period, the plants would require the displacement of 7,000 inhabitants from 12 indigenous lands.

1989 –The first feasibility studies for the Belo Monte HPP are concluded. Disagreements on the social and environmental impacts lead to the suspension of funding for the work.

1994 – Feasibility Studies are reviewed, with subsequent reduction of the flooded area and assurance that no indigenous lands would be flooded.

2002 – New surveys are submitted to ANEEL. The Environmental Impact Study is halted at the request of the Public Prosecutor.

July 2005 – The National Congress authorizes Eletrobrás to complete the Environmental Impact Study.

January 2006 – Eletrobrás requests the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) to initiate the preliminary environmental licensing process. 

March 2006 – IBAMA conducts the first technical survey in the project area.

August 2007 – IBAMA conducts technical surveys and holds public meetings in the municipalities of Altamira and Vitória do Xingu to discuss the Reference Terms for the Environmental Impact Study.

December 2007 – IBAMA issues the Reference Terms for the Environmental Impact Study.

July 2008 – The National Council for Energy Policy determines that the only hydroelectric potential to be exploited on the Xingu River will be that of the Belo Monte HPP. ANEEL approves an update to the inventory consisting of only this plant in the Xingu River basin.

March 2009 – Eletrobrás requests the Preliminary License.

April 2009 – IBAMA conducts an additional technical survey in the project area.

May 2009 – The  Environmental Impact Study and Environmental Impact Report are submitted to IBAMA. 

February 2010 – IBAMA grants the Preliminary License for the construction work, while imposing 40 adaptation requirements.

April 2010 – The Federal Government holds the concession auction for the construction and operation of the Belo Monte HPP for 35 years.

June 2011 – IBAMA issues Installation License n.No. 795/2011, which allows construction of the Belo Monte HPP to start. Work begins immediately.

November 2015 – IBAMA grants Operating License No. 1317/2015 for the Belo Monte HPP.

December 2015 – Opening and closing tests are performed onof the two Spillway floodgates that control water released into the Channel connecting the Plant’s main and intermediate reservoirs.

February 2016 – Reservoir filling is completed. First mechanical turn test of Turbine 01 at the Main Powerhouse is conducted.

April 2016 –The venture’s commercial operation begins with the release of Turbines 01 the Main and Supplementary Powerhouses by ANEEL. 

June 2016 – Commercial operation begins for the venture’s second at the Supplementary Powerhouse, in the Pimental Site. 

July 2016 – The second turbine at the Main Powerhouse in the Belo Monte Site is integrated with the National Interconnected System (SIN) and commercial generation in by this engine is authorized by ANEEL.

August 2016 – ANEEL authorizes commercial operation of the third Turbine at the Supplementary Powerhouse, in the Pimental Site, totaling five turbines online.

November 2016 –  cCommercial operation of Turbine 03 at the Main Powerhouse and Turbine 04 at the Supplementary Powerhouse begin.

January 2017 – Commercial operation of Turbine 04 at the Main Powerhouse and Turbines 05 and 06 at the Supplementary Powerhouse begin. The Supplementary Powerhouse is thus is 100% online.

April 2017 – Commercial Operation of Turbine 05 at the Main Power house begins, releasing another 611.1 MW to the SIN. 

July 2017 – Commercial Operation of Turbine 06 at the Main Powerhouse begins.

October 2017 –  Commercial Operation of Turbine 07 of at the Main Power Hhouse begins, totaling an installed potential for Commercial Operation of 4,510.57 MW in 2017.

February 2018 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 08 of the Main Powerhouse.

June 2018 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 09 of the Main Powerhouse.

October 2018 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 10 of the Main Powerhouse.

November 2018 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 11 of the Main Powerhouse.

December 2018 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 12 of the Main Powerhouse, totaling, in 2017, the installed capacity for Commercial Operation of 7,566.42 MW.

May 2019 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 13 of the Main Powerhouse.

June 2019 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 14 of the Main Powerhouse. Belo Monte HPP officially becomes the largest 100% Brazilian hydroelectric plant.

August 2019 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 15 of the Main Powerhouse.

September 2019 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 16 of the Main Powerhouse.

October 2019 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 17 of the Main Powerhouse.

November 2019 – Start of Commercial Operation of Turbine 18 of the Main Powerhouse. Belo Monte HPP reaches a total of 11,233.1 MW of installed power - 11,000 MW from the Main Powerhouse and 233.1 MW from the Suplementary Powerhouse, in Pimental. Totally completed and ready for full operation, Belo Monte officially opens on November 27, 2019.