The Machadinho Hydroelectric Power Station is located on the Uruguay River, between the municipalities of Piratuba (SC) and Maximiliano de Almeida (RS). The building work, which started in March 1998, was concluded in five years. During this period, US$ 618 million were invested in the project. The hydropower station has 1140 MW of installed capacity.
The idea of building the power station first came up in the 1970s, but only in 1996, when Eletrosul Centrais Elétricas S.A. sought bids from possible partners that would make it feasible to conclude the development, did the project finally take shape. In 1997, the Machadinho Group of Associated Companies (GEAM) signed the Constitution Agreement of the Machadinho Consortium to start the Machadinho Hydroelectric Power Station.
Construction of the power station was the responsibility of the companies that formed the GEAM Consortium, which was subsequently succeeded by Machadinho Energética S/A (MAESA). Eletrosul, succeeded by Gerasul and Tractebel Energia S/A, was responsible for the implementation technical management, operation and maintenance of the power station.
The Machadinho Consortium comprises eight major companies; Alcoa has a 25.74% share in the Consortium. The other members in the investment are: Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio – CBA (27.5%); Votorantim Cimentos Brasil Ltda. (5.6%); Tractebel Energia S/A (19.2); Vale S/A (8.2%); Companhia Estadual de Geração e Transmissão de Energia Elétrica – CEEE-GT (5.5%); InterCement (5.2%) and DME Distribuição S/A – DMED (2.7%).
The Machadinho Hydroelectric Power Station went into operation in February 2002. Its reservoir encompasses land in 10 municipalities: Piratuba, Zortéa, Celso Ramos, Anita Garibaldi, Campos Novos, Capinzal in Santa Catarina; and Machadinho, Maximiliano de Almeida, Barracão and Pinhal da Serra in Rio Grande do Sul. Its operational activities are certified to NBR ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards.