Aug 04, 2020

Itaipu Dam releasing more Water to Aid Paraguay Soybean Barges

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

For the second time in several months, the operators of the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam on the border of Brazil and Paraguay will increase the water discharge from the dam to increase the water flow on the Parana River downstream from the dam. This time, the increased water flow will result from increased electrical generation by increasing the flow of water through the turbines. The first time the flow was increased by opening the spillway. The increased flow will start on Monday, August 3rd and continue until August 16th.

The current low water level on the Parana River has stranded 104 barges loaded with 100,000 tons of Paraguay soybeans from passing through the locks at the downstream Yacyreta Dam. It is anticipated that the barges will be able to pass through the locks on August 10, 11, and 12 and proceed to crushers and export facilities at Rosario, Argentina.

When the water flow was increased the first time, it allowed the movement of 170 barges loaded with Paraguay soybeans to transit the same locks at the Yacyreta Dam.

A prolonged dry period in the Parana River basin has resulted in the lowest water levels on the Parana River in decades. This has caused logistical problems at the port hub at Rosario, Argentina which accounts for approximately 80% of Argentina's grain exports.