The 1140MW Machadinho dam project in southern Brazil took another step forward in October, when the course of the river Pelotas was diverted to allow construction work to begin.

Work on the project started in March 1998 and completion of the dam is scheduled for 2002.

The dam is being built by special purpose company Machadinho Energetica SA (MAESA) which consists of 11 investors.

MAESA is to receive an US$85M loan from the Banco de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social in 2000. The project’s total cost is estimated at US$618M.