Hydroelectric plant in Maraba, Pará, Brazil

Local communities in Marabá fear to be displaced again by a hydroelectric dam project. If built the project will displace around 40 thousand people.


The Marabá dam (AHE Marabá) is a big hydroelectric project planned on the Tocantins River near the town of Marabá, state of Pará in northwest Brazil. If built, the AHE Marabá would have an installed capacity of 2,160 MW [1] and inundate approximately 1115 km2 of land with its reservoir. This area covers twelve municipalities in three different states with different degrees of impact: Araguantins, Esperantina, Ananás, Burití do Tocantins and São Sebastião do Tocantins in the Tocantins state; Marabá, São João do Araguaia, Bom Jesús do Tocantins, Brejo do Grande do Araguaia and Palestina do Pará in the Pará state; and finally, São Pedro da Agua Branca and Vila Nova dos Martírios in the Maranhão state. The electricity generated by the project would meet the growing demand of Brazil’s industry, particularly in the areas of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. 

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Basic Data
NameHydroelectric plant in Maraba, Pará, Brazil
ProvincePará, Tocantins and Maranhão
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Land acquisition conflicts
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project Details- Installed capacity of 2.160 MW

- Inundate approximately 1115 km2 of land with its reservoir.

-At a local level, the Hydroelectric dam will provide energy for steel projects, to expand the iron and copper mines, and projects of the Science and Technology Park of Marabá.
Project Area (in hectares)111,500
Level of Investment (in USD)2,000,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population10,000 families (around 40,000 people)
Start Date2014
Company Names or State EnterprisesElectrobras from Brazil
Camargo Corrêa S.A from Brazil
Relevant government actorsPrefeitura de Marabá; Ministério de Minas e Energia (MME); Funai (Fundação Nacional do Ìndio);
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMovimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB);

Supporters: Universidade Federal do Pará
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
National EJOS
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseStrengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.So far, environmental justice was not achieved. In the case AHE Marabá turns into reality, the project would result in the displacement of a large number of communities with considerable environmental and social impacts for the region.
Sources and Materials

Plano Decenal de Expansão da Energia 2011-2020 (PDE)


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Vereadores endurecem ao ouvirem exposição sobre a Hidrelétrica de Marabá
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MAB conquista regularização fundiária de área ameaçada pela barragem de Marabá
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Usina Hidrelétrica de Marabá é tema de debate no Parfor
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Impactos na instalação de nova hidrelétrica no Pará são tema de debate em Marabá
[click to view]

Decisão do TCU abre caminho para retomada de grandes hidrelétricas na Amazônia
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Barragens na Amazonia
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Usina de Marabá: perigo que se aproxima
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[1] Hidrelétrica de Marabá: matéria especial desvela impactos
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Águas de hidrelétrica vão engolir município que é refúgio ecológico
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Media Links

Sessão trata da hidrelétrica de Marabá
[click to view]

Other Documents

City of Marabá Confluence of two large rivers near the historic city center, the Itacaiunas River and the Tocantins River
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorENVJustice Project
Last update29/05/2018