40 years ago, Itaipu plant started its history. On May 17, 1974, Brazilians and Paraguayans took the first step to start constructing the plant with the constitution of the binational. In the next four decades, the work would transform the West region of Paraná and would contribute to a new economic and more industrialized profile of Brazil and Paraguay.
Today, Itaipu is key for the energy infrastructure, for the integration and for the development of both countries. Alstom played a key role in the project, supplying 10 of the 20 generating units of the plant, each one with 700MW capacity.
Our company still has employees who participated in this project and built a successful history with us.
Read below the interview with Mauro Uemori, a Hydro engineer who worked in the project of the plant since he was an intern.
- What was your role in the project of Itaipu plant, and in which period?
I started working at Itaipu since I was an intern, in 1977, supporting the team in the electric, mass and cost calculations.
After I was hired, in the 80s, as an electrical engineer I worked supporting the senior engineers in the conduction of electric calculations, special calculations, designs and in the project. I also had the opportunity to follow up the manufacture, assembly and commissioning, and even some repairs during these years.
- How do you feel having worked for such a relevant project for Alstom and for the hydro market?
At the time, Itaipu was the largest plant in the world, and it was a milestone for Alstom and for the world’s hydro market.
I think I was at the right place at the right time, as I had the chance to follow up the entire cycle, from birth to commissioning, including some repairs, and this was very important to define my calling for electric machines. Today I work in the field I like, and I feel very good about it. I’m very happy at work.
- What has changed in your career and at Alstom since when you worked in the project?
The experience acquired in Itaipu brought me maturity to direct my work at Alstom, study, research and, most of all, have an open mind for changes and innovations.
- What were the main advances in technology since this project was executed?
Itaipu was the consolidation of:
- The Micadur insulation system for 18 kV voltages, which serves as a reference for us to design generators of up to 24 kV;
- The oblique elements, which ever since are used in all medium and large sized generators around the world, under the Alstom brand, making customers satisfied;
- The project and calculation of the radial ventilation system;
- The press system of the stator core;
- The magnetic ring/spider connection system, resulting in the current project, called floating crown;
- The generators, in terms of the quality and reliability of Alstom’s product.
Itaipu, ever since, serves as a reference for most projects in the world, even after 40 years.