Itaipu Dam


Itaipu Dam is the most powerful hydroelectric dam. It was built in 1984. This dam is located on the border of Brazil and Paraguay. Parana River is the main source of energy to run this dam. This river is one of the largest rivers in the world. The term ‘Itaipu’ means ‘the sounding stone’. It was named after a small island very close to where the dam is located. The deal between Brazil and Paraguay to build the dam was signed on July 22, 1966, but the construction did not start till 1971. In 1994, the Itaipu Dam was selected as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

Quick Facts: –

  • The Itaipu Dam is a series of four different dams: -a main concrete dam, a rock-fill dam, a concrete wing dam, and an earth-fill dam.
  • More than 40,000 workers worked in the construction of this dam. Most of the workers were from Brazil.
  • Total 149 workers were killed during the construction.
  • This dam has total 18 massive turbine generators. These generators are located in the powerhouse at the base of the dam.
  • In the initial stage of construction, Parana River was re-routed. It was the biggest diversion canal ever attempted.
  • Approximately 50 million tons of earth and rock were displaced to shift the course of this river.
  • The total length of the dam is 7235 meters with the crest elevation of 225 meters.
  • The total cost to construct the Itaipu Dam was $18 billion.
  • Total 380 Eiffel Tower can be built by using the steel and iron used in the construction of Itaipu Dam.
  • More than 12.3 million cubic meters of concrete was used in building the dam.
  • This dam supplies Paraguay with approximately 78% of its energy needs.
  • The height of Itaipu Dam is 196 meters, almost as tall as a 65 story building.