Furnas Dam

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Furnas Dam
Location Minas Gerais, Brazil
Coordinates 20°40′11″S 46°19′05″W / 20.66972°S 46.31806°W / -20.66972; -46.31806Coordinates: 20°40′11″S 46°19′05″W / 20.66972°S 46.31806°W / -20.66972; -46.31806
Construction began 1957
Opening date 1963
Operator(s) Eletrobrás Furnas
Dam and spillways
Impounds Grande River
Height 127 m (417 ft)
Length 550 m (1,800 ft)
Width (base) 15 m (49 ft)
Creates Furnas Reservoir
Total capacity 22,590×10^6 m3 (18,310,000 acre⋅ft)
Surface area 1,473 km2 (569 sq mi)
Power Station
Turbines 8 × 152 MW (204,000 hp) Francis-type
Installed capacity 1,216 MW (1,631,000 hp)

The Furnas Dam is a hydroelectric dam in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil. A small settlement was built near the dam with the same name, to house the workers during the dam construction. The main purpose of the dam and reservoir are the production of electricity and the regulation of the flow of the Grande River.


Construction on the dam began in 1957 and was the first large dam in Brazil. It was built by Wimpey Construction and was completed in 1963.[1] It is built on the canyon of the Grande River, before joining the Sapucaí River downstream. The dam is 127-metre (417 ft) tall, 550 metres (1,800 ft) long, and 15 metres (49 ft) wide at its crest.

The large reservoir, with a surface area of 1,473 square kilometres (569 sq mi), almost half of the Brazilian coastline, started to form in 1963, bordering thirty-four municipalities. The volume of water is seven times that of Guanabara Bay, at 22,590 million cubic metres (18,310,000 acre⋅ft). Normal water level averages at 768 metres (2,520 ft).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ White, p. 34


  • White, Valerie (1980). Wimpey: The first hundred years. George Wimpey. 

External links[edit]