Thursday, 20th July 2006 by

Damming the Paraná River on the border between Brazil and Paraguay sits an incredible engineering achievement – the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world, Itaipú.

Itaipú is 196 metres high and contains enough iron and steel to build 380 Eiffel Towers. It took 40 thousand people to build it, and they had to move 50 million tons of earth and rock to do it.

In 1995 Itaipú provided 25% of the total energy requirement of Brazil, as well as 78% of Paraguay’s! The facility has been constantly upgraded since then, and the expansion is expected to bring the amount of energy produced next year to over 100 million megawatt-hours.

Make sure you zoom in on the flow from the spillway, and there’s more fascinating facts at Wikipedia!

Thanks to floki, Oliver Dueck, Luciano A. Ferrer, Rhaffael C. C de Barros, Bong Laden, Doug Olson, Vinicius Lage, Juliano Oliveira, Olaf van Zandwijk and Manuel Fernandez.