Itaipu Dam South America Border Brazil-Paraguay

Itaipu Dam on the Paraná River situated on the border of Brazil and Paraguay was build by these two countries. The construction took place in two phases. The first phase was the building of 18 units during the years 1975 and 1991, a duration of 16 years. The expansion with 2 more units took place in 2006 and 2007.


The Dam is situated in the nearby of the Iguaçu Falls, which stretch along the border of Brazil and Argentina. There was an isle named “Itaipu” at the construction site. Here is where the name of the Dam came from. The meaning is in Guarani language “the sound of stone”. The Dam was named one of the seven wonders of the modern world, because of the huge amount of energy it produces. The American composer Philip Glass wrote, in honor of the structure, a symphonic cantata named Itaipu. Itaipu Dam is actually the world’s second largest hydroelectric dam, so tourists love to visit it for its wonder. There are free tours available.

The Dam has a length of 7.74km and a height of 196m and had the largest generating capacity in the world by 2009. A total of 94.7TWh in 2008 and 91.6TWh in 2009. The comparing numbers were then 80.8TWh and 79.4TWh for the Three Gorges Dam.
It has an installed capacity of 14,000MW consisting of 20 units of 700MW each. Only Sobradinho, Tucuruí, Porto Primavera, Balbina, Serra da Mesa and Furnas dams have larger reservoir than the Itaipu. But the relation between flooded area and production is here the best.
The flow maximum of Itaipu’s spillway is 62.2 thousand cubic meters per second. Itaipu Dam’s turbines supply 93 percent of Paraguay’s electricity and 20 percent of Brazil’s electricity. It provides 25 percent of Brazil’s energy supply and 78 percent of the energy supply of Paraguay.
Brazil has more than 650 dams with hydro facilities with a combined capacity of 77,000MW.

The ecological impact of the construction.
– More than 10,000 families who lived alongside the Paraná River had to evacuate.
– The Guaíra Falls, by volume the largest waterfall in the world disappeared, submerged under the waters of the reservoir.
-The rock of the falls was dynamited by the Brazilian government for a safer navigation, thus forever vanished.
-The Guaíra Falls National Park was liquidated.
– Some months before the filling of the reservoir, 80 people were killed due to the collapse of an overcrowded bridge as they were having a last look of the falls.

The Itaipu Zoo is at about 2km away from the Dam, it contains thousands of animals. These animals were saved when the forests at the Dam flooded during its construction.
The Zoo is an attraction that a tourist have to see and there is no charge for admission.
At 20km separated from the Dam is Ciudad Del Este, located at Itaipu Dam Foz do Iguaçu Brazil, about where Brazil’s, Paraguay’s and Argentina’s borders meet.