Brazilian official: no blackouts during World Cup
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 22, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Head of Brazil's National
Electricity Agency (Aneel) Nelson Hubner said on Tuesday that
there will be no blackouts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which
will take place in the country.
Hubner, who is in charge of regulating the power distribution
network in the country, said in a statement denying a story ran by
daily Folha de Sao Paulo on its Tuesday edition.
According to the daily, there is a real risk of power shortage
in most of the Cup's host cities during the competition. Folha
based its story in a report presented by Aneel itself, just last
The report warns that in all but two host cities, the
renovations and expansions which are being made in the
distribution network for the Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games are
behind schedule. In Brazil's capital city Brasilia, which will
also be a host city in the FIFA Confederations Cup in June, over
90 percent of the projects are behind schedule.
The renovation and expansion projects are being carried out by
several companies which hold the concessions to explore the energy
distribution in each state.
In the document, Aneel recommends that the projects must be
hurried to get ready in time for the tournament, and that
alternative solutions should be presented to deal with worst case
Hubner, however, said that Aneel is monitoring the projects and
will work for their completion in time.
"Many of those projects are secondary. We are checking them out
and alerting the companies so that we can get everything on
schedule for the Cup," he said.
The possibility of blackouts or energy rationing in Brazil in
the upcoming months has been much discussed in the local press
over the past weeks. Most of the energy used in Brazil comes from
hydroelectric power plants, which makes the country dependant on
rain to fill up the dam reservoirs.
The reservoirs' water level is currently below the average for
the season, which was cause of alarm, especially because there
were several blackouts in large cities in the last two months of
2012. In order to compensate the reservoirs' lower level, the
government ordered that the thermal power plants, which work on
natural gas, were turned on.
The Brazilian government denies the risk of blackout and power
rationing, as it happened in the early 2000s. According to the
authorities, the network has been expanded in the past decade and,
unlike in the past, Brazil now has thermal power plants which can
help compensate an eventual low output from the hydroelectric
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