Alternative World Water Forum

Former President Alan Garcia signed in June 2010 a Peru-Brazil hydropower agreement, in which some new river daming megaprojects are planned, including the Marañon, displacing large numbers of local population. Alan García declared the construction of 20 hydroelectric power plants in the Maranon River of national and social interest, just three months before leaving the government, through the Supreme Decree 020-2011-EM. The most advanced hydroelectric projects are Chadin 2 and Cumba 4, both in the region of Cajamarca. Concessions for construction are granted to transnational company Odebrecht, who has also been awarded the construction of the first part of the Conga mining project for over 500 million dollars.

marañon

Marañon

The Chadin 2 megaproject will produce 600 MW, at a cost of 819 million dollars by the Brazilian company Odebrecht and will involve 21 communities. It provides for the construction of a 175 meters high dam that would form a reservoir of 196 thousand m3 of water. If implemented, the project would directly result in the loss of many local communities like Choropampa, San Lucas, Tupén Grande, Tupén Chico, la Mushca, Mendán and their agricultural land. And it would lead to the disappearance of endangered animal species such as the spectacled bear and part of the rich Amazonian flora and fauna. Likewise, the standing water causes increases of CO2 and especially of methane gas, 25 times more harmful for global warming. It will also affect some river’s flow, even the Amazon’s.

The energy produced would be mostly exported to Brazil turning Peru into an energy provider for Brazil, increasing its dependence on that country and becoming part of its energy grid.

On June 16th 2010 the governments of Peru and Brazil signed an agreement for electricity supply to Peru and to export to Brazil the electricity surpluses. The sum of five hydroelectric power plants to be built is 6,673 MW (currently Peru consumes 5,000 MW), of which 90% will be exported to Brazil. The projects were developed by Eletrobras, whose investments will benefit other Brazilian companies responsible for the construction, such as Odebrecht, OAS and Andrade Gutierrez. Peruvian companies like Electroperu won’t be involved in the process. In summary, this is a set of megaprojects that are unnecessary for Peru, that will benefit Brazil and its state-owned and private companies, and that will cause serious environmental and social problems for Peruvians and particularly for indigenous peoples.

Odebrecht is leading some projects in Peru and it has already finished the following ones, among others:

  • Construction of the hydropower plant Chaglla (2,500 MW) and the Carhuaz-San Luis Highway (99 km).
  • Concession of Ayabaca Vado Grande Road (10 km). IIRSA Norte.
  • Start of construction of the second section of Lima’s Electric Train Line 1.

Just a few days ago Chadin 2 EIA was approved. It was done in an absolutely autocratic manner, without any public consultation and under strong repression by police. For example, on 5th of July in Cortegana, several people were injured and dozens were reported for false accusations. Also in January the police entered on private lands of the villagers of Yagén pretending to ignore the legitimate rounds. Members of the rounds have been reported to the public prosecutor for opposing the interference. The President of Frente de Defensa has been accused of attempted murder without a any dead, wounded or gun involved!

frente amplio

Frente Amplio in Cortegana

Opposition to the project is growing. The 23rd of February in a crowded meeting in which the Frente Amplio was created in Cortegana, more than 75 members of the rounds said no to Chadin 2 project. It was however evident the lack of information about the importance of this project and its impact on environmental pollution and climate change. This is why information gathering with environmentalists and experts are needed.

Categories: Global stories

Comments are closed.