Balbina Dam

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Balbina Dam
Balbina Dam-1.jpg
Location Amazonas, Brazil
Coordinates 01°55′02″S 59°28′25″W / 1.91722°S 59.47361°W / -1.91722; -59.47361Coordinates: 01°55′02″S 59°28′25″W / 1.91722°S 59.47361°W / -1.91722; -59.47361
Construction began 1985
Opening date 1989
Dam and spillways
Impounds Uatumã River
Height 33 m (108 ft)
Length 2,920 m (9,580 ft)
Creates Balbina Reservoir
Total capacity 17.54 km3 (14,220,000 acre·ft)
Catchment area 16,502 km2 (6,371 sq mi)
Surface area 2,360 km2 (910 sq mi)
Max. water depth 30 m (98 ft)
Power station
Operator(s) Manaus Energia
Commission date 1989
Turbines 5 × 50 MW (67,000 hp)
Installed capacity 250 MW (340,000 hp)

The Balbina Dam (Portuguese: Usina Hidrelétrica de Balbina) is a hydroelectric dam and power station on the Uatumã River in the Amazon Rainforest, Brazil. The location is under the municipality of Presidente Figueiredo jurisdiction, in the state of Amazonas.

It was built from 1985 to 1989 and is managed by Manaus Energia, under the Eletronorte system. The first of five generators began operating in February 1989. The dam has an installed capacity of 250 megawatts (340,000 hp) and floods a 2,360-square-kilometre (910 sq mi) area.[1][2]

The dam was established to provide a renewable electricity supply to the city of Manaus but was considered by locals a controversial project from the start, due to the loss of forest and displacement of tribal homes grounds. It was also criticized for its expensive construction and maintenance costs.[3] As a result of the methane released from its vast reservoir, proportional to its output, the Balbina Dam emits more greenhouse gases than most coal plants.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hydroelectric power stations in Brazil
  2. ^ Philip M. Fearnside (2006-08-26). "Balbina Dam, Amazonas". Department of Ecology, National Institute for Research in the Amazon (INPA). Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  3. ^ Balbina
  4. ^ "Dams in the Amazon: The rights and wrongs of Belo Monte". The Economist. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.