On my second day in the Paraná area I spent the morning on the border between Brazil and Paraguay, visiting the World’s largest hydro-electric power-plant — the Itaipu Dam. My initial plan had been to take the full tour of the dam — visiting it inside-out. However, I arrived a bit late at the site and without having made a reservation. The morning tour was fully booked and taking the afternoon tour was not an option as I wanted to avoid risking missing the last bus to Argentina. I did thus settle for a panoramic tour of the exterior part of the power-plant.
The tour was very nice. We had good view of the dam, the reservoir, the surrounding area and the electricity connections to Brazil and Paraguay. As am interested in large structures, I had many questions for the guide. Fortunately, he was very knowledgeable and willing to satisfy my thirst for knowledge.
The Itaipu power plant is co-owned by the states of Brazil and Paraguay. It is an important source of power and fun statistics. The energy produced is split equally among the two nations — Brazil gets 50% and Paraguay 50%. Paraguay sells 80% of its energy to Brazil. Hence, 90% of the electricity flows through Brazil but 10% through Paraguay. The Itaipu power plant satisfies 90% of Paraguay’s energy need but 20% of Brazil’s.