Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam, Foz do Iguacu, State of Paraná, Brazil
If Iguazu River is home to one of the seven wonders of nature, on the Paraná River, just 38 km away, is one of the seven wonders of engineering, according to a list prepared by the United States’ Civil Engineering Association, after hearing from specialists from around the world: the Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant, a joint development by Brazilians and Paraguayans.
Responsible for almost 20% of Brazil’s electricity consumption and more than 90% of Paraguay’s, Itaipu is gigantic in all senses of the word. The largest in the world in electricity generation, Itaipu is formed by a dam measuring 7,919 meters long and 196 meters high, the equivalent of a 65-floor building.
Construction of the dam consumed 12.3 million cubic meters of concrete, enough to build 210 football stadiums like Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro. The iron and steel used was enough to construct 380 towers like the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The plant’s spillway, used to drain water not used for generation, has the capacity to discharge 62,200 m3/s, 40 times more than the average flow of the Iguassu Falls.
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