Sustainable construction site

Published on Thursday, 15 December 2016

“We have managed to get to where we are today thanks to this effort, this integration and objectivity.”

– Valdir Leite, Enel Green Power commissioning manager

Product of extensive technical knowledge and innovation, Apiacás overcame not only the tough environmental context but also the expectations of everyone involved, achieving results by using sustainable solutions and creating value for the local community. The construction of the complex employed the Shared Value Creation concept, combining the company’s business perspective with the needs of the community in the regions where it operates through decision-making that creates value for both sides.

Respect for the local fauna and flora was present at all times. Every animal species found during the works was reintegrated into areas of environmental preservation to live in its habitat. The construction efforts took care to adopt best engineering practices to minimise the environmental impact.

“For us in Alta Floresta this project is very important as it creates jobs. What delights and motivates me is seeing Enel Group’s concern with the environment and biodiversity.”

– Andrea Franco, Endêmica Ambiental biologist

Respecting the native flora, the company has created a detailed reforestation programme to plant seedlings of trees from the region grown in surrounding nurseries and using seeds preserved during the vegetation suppression phase. Community involvement was also very relevant in the discussions that shaped the initiatives and incentives to local development, with infrastructure improvements and public engagement. Training courses in management and sustainability for the technical team were also created.

The project surrounding the complex also stands out for looking at sustainability from a 360-degree perspective. In addition to the social aspect, planning also took into account the reutilisation of rocks removed during the excavation stage. This residue was used to produce the concrete used in the building, a concept that contributed to the sustainability of the project. The inauguration ceremony, which earned a carbon-neutral certification seal, was also structured around the sustainable model.

Apiacás is the first plant in Brazil to incorporate a photovoltaic system of 1.2 MW into the building site, generating part of the power necessary for the building of the complex and ensuring the reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for the duration of the construction project. Following the opening, the solar system will continue to generate energy and this will be added to the hydroelectric complex’s capacity.

Enel Green Power site manager José Evangelista defines what Apiacás represented: “It made us believe in something that seemed impossible. From the moment we believed, we managed to achieve it.”

The Apiacás complex, located on the river of the same name, has enough capacity to supply 200,000 homes. With total capacity of 102 MW the project comprises the small hydroelectric centrals Cabeça de Boi (30 MW) and Fazenda (27 MW) and the hydroelectric plant of Salto Apiacás (45 MW). The plants were contracted through the A-5 tender run by the federal government in 2003 to supply energy for 30 years to distributors from 2018, and became the first hydroelectric project developed and built by the Group in the country, marking it an important step for Enel Green Power in Brazil.