Electricity Companies Want Indigenous Tribes As Partners In Hydropower Plants

Group of companies will suggest a new bill to allow construction of more hydropower plants to Bolsonaro's transition team

Nicola Pamplona
Rio de Janeiro

Electricity companies are planning to offer the Bolsonaro administration a bill to authorize building hydropower plants in indigenous reservations and providing payment to the communities to do so.

The measure is part of an industry effort to push forward a better use o Brazil's hydropower potential.

Written by a group of companies and industry associations, the bill envisions setting aside part of the power plants' revenue to create a fund to be used by indigenous leaders together with National Indian Foundation (Funai), the government agency that deals with Native Brazilian issues. 

Furnas hydropower plant - Folhapress

Members from Bolsonaro's team already said they favored resuming construction of hydropower plants and Bolsonaro himself also stated he was in favor of economic exploration of indigenous lands.
"A good part of Brazil's energy resources is or will be in indigenous lands," says Gil Maranhão, a director at Engie.

The French electricity company supports the new bill, along with another French company, EDF, and industry associations.

Maranhão says that the current model is not favorable to the hydropower plants, because it only brings losses to the local populations. The new proposal is to make them partners in new ventures.

The bill is ready, says Maranhão, just waiting to be discussed with the new administration.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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