September 1, 2006
The 708-megawatt Barra Grande hydroelectric plant on the Pelotas River in Brazil started operating last November after little more than four years of planning by a private consortium of companies. To hear aluminum maker and majority stakeholder Alcoa describe it, the project was a perfect combination of environmental, social and industrial concerns. On the flip side of the fence, though, watchdog groups opposed to such projects on principle see the dam as one that slipped in under the radar screen with a few last-minute concessions. Maybe the next one won't be so lucky.
In addition to scarce funds and risk-averse investors, Latin America can now count on environmental and other watchdog gro
With greater import being placed on the environmental and social impacts of mega-projects, barriers to breaking ground on them have become higher.