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Amid Brazil’s energy corruption claims, Euro firms eye Amazon mega-dam

Amazon mega-dam

Creative Commons: Neil Palmer/CIAT for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), 2011

While the Brazilian government fights for its political survival, European companies risk being caught up in the fall-out as it’s revealed that major energy firms plan to build and run a controversial mega-dam project in the heart of the Amazon.

French utilities EDF and Engie are among the group of companies – which also includes Brazilian firms linked to the ongoing corruption investigation – that may bid to win contracts for the Tapajos river project.

A joint venture between German firms Siemens and Voith is also thought likely to manufacture the turbines used in the dam.

The news comes as President Dilma Rousseff and other political figures are engulfed by a corruption scandal at the nearby Belo Monte dam and as new Greenpeace research shows the country’s Amazon region is under attack by uncontrolled exploitation.

Economic activities – including dams – have already seen 750,000 km² of forest cleared, risking the region’s biodiversity, driving traditional forest communities from their land and threatening the world’s climate.

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