On this April 26, 2023, as we celebrate 50 years of the Itaipu Treaty, we see the end of a cycle in the binational entity and the beginning of what can be called a “revolution”. It is a profound transformation of the management actions of the plant, with increasing attention to social and environmental issues, but without forgetting the infrastructures of the entire region covered, which now includes the entire state of Paraná.
Brazil and Paraguay have only to gain from this new vision, which, in the Brazilian case, is based on the guidelines of the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, which is rebuilding what seemed lost forever: the state structures and respect for true democracy.
Now, without the debt burden of its construction, Itaipu is experiencing a new phase, fulfilling many dreams of Brazilians and Paraguayans, especially those who survive from small-scale agriculture, small businesses, those with minimal income for their subsistence. But we will also promote activities that generate more jobs, such as tourism in the border region and the use of alternative energies, capable of helping the two nations to become increasingly “green”, as is the dream of any country, in any region of the world.
Reality is already changing rapidly. The tariff at Itaipu, which was US$20.75 per kilowatt/hour (US$20.75/kW), in 2022 has fallen to US$16.71/kW. The 19.5% reduction was decided by the Board of Directors on April 17, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), in Brasília (DF), and during a videoconference with the headquarters from Itaipu to Asunción, Paraguay. This means that we will pay less for the energy of the binacional, without affecting the quality of its services, such as the supply of clean and renewable energy, the maintenance of socio-environmental projects and investments for development. sustainable.
The decision was made by mutual agreement, which shows the mutual respect between the two countries. The respect, by the way, which is a hallmark of the current government, as well as the intention to help Latin America have more time and voice throughout the world, as advocated by President Lula, who takes Brazil out of the status of an international pariah, as it has remained in recent years.
Even with the tariff reduction, Itaipu Binacional will continue to maintain resources to invest in infrastructure, always after a thorough study of each situation and the importance of the investment for the State of Paraná. Yes, because its line of action will be extended beyond its area of influence, currently limited to the West region of the State and Mundo Novo, in Mato Grosso do Sul. Now our attention also turns to the 399 municipalities of Paraná. Itaipu will act on the basis of the concept of territoriality, investing – in this order – in the social, environmental and infrastructural areas.
The great works that are in progress will not be paralyzed. But, with regard to new investments, the analysis will be very cautious, because our priority is to comply with the policies of the federal government, whose concern is social and environmental. From Itaipu, we continue to understand that the future of Paraná depends on the care of the environment which will be an example not only for Brazil, but for the world, helping the country to win new green investments.
One of our axes will also be technological innovation, a role that the factory has always played with success. There will be an integration of innovation with social policies, thanks to the participation of our Itaipu-Brasil Technological Park Foundation (PTI-BR). And, in the case not only of Foz do Iguaçu, but also of other municipalities where tourism is one of the pillars of the economy, our participation could be greater, depending on the partnerships with the town halls and the government of the state, in addition to federal agencies.
This “revolution”, as I call it, will give the work of the binational in Paraná a similar weight to that which it has in Paraguay, where the plant is present throughout the country, through works, programs and activities for the benefit of the inhabitants. We want more and more to ensure that the people of Paraná are rewarded for a gigantic work, which has brought countless benefits to the two countries to which it belongs, but which is not yet completely fair for the State who hosts it.
Enio Verri is the Brazilian Managing Director of Itaipu Binacional
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