Itaipu Dam

Itaipu Dam (Portuguese:Barragem de Itaipu) is the second largest power generation dam in the world (as of 2020)

The Itaipu Dam was built by Brazil and Paraguay on the Parana River. It is located in the river section between the border of Brazil and Paraguay.
It is 14 kilometers away from the Friendship Bridge, which connects Brazil ’s Iguazu City and Paraguay ’s Este City.

It total cost about US $19.6 billion.

Itaipu Dam 1
Beautiful scenery of Itaipu Dam

Construction history

In February 1971,Started design and research of hydropower project.
In January 1975,Construction began.
On October 14, 1978, the Parana River was diverted,Construction of the main river dam started.
Start operations
On May 5, 1984, the first generation unit started operation at Itaipu. The installation speed of the first 18 devices is 2 to 3 per year; the last two of them started in 1991.
The entire construction period took about 18 years.

Itaipu Dam Satellite Photo
Itaipu Dam Satellite Photo

Generating station and dam

The total length of the dam is 7,235 metres (23,737 ft). The crest elevation is 225 metres (738 ft).

The dam is 196 metres (643 ft) high, equivalent to a 65-story building.

It consumed 12.3 million cubic meters of concrete, while the iron and steel employed would permit the construction of 380 Eiffel Towers.

The spillway has a length of 483 metres (1,585 ft).

The maximum flow of Itaipu’s fourteen segmented spillways is 62.2 thousand cubic metres per second (2.20×106 cu ft/s), into three skislope formed canals. It is equivalent to 40 times the average flow of the nearby natural Iguaçu Falls.

Itaipu is actually four dams joined together – from the far left, an earth fill dam, a rock fill dam, a concrete buttress main dam, and a concrete wing dam to the right.

Itaipu Dam3
Itaipu Hydropower Station is discharging water
Itaipu Dam5
Here you can clearly see the dam structure

Itaipu Reservoir

The Itaipu reservoir, with a flooded area of 1,350 k㎡, is the seventh largest in Brazil, but holds the best coefficient of water utilization for electricity generation of all the large Brazilian reservoirs.

Itaipu Reservoir Engineering Drawing

The production coefficient of water utilization at Itaipu is 10.4 MW per km², (i.e., each 0.1 km² of flooded area can generate 1 MW).

Itaipu Dam Data

Foz do Iguaçu,Hernandarias
US $19.6 billion
Brazilian Government / Paraguay Government
Official name
Barragem de Itaipu
Itaipu Binacional
In use
Jan, 1975
Opening date
May-05, 1984
Total Duration
18 years
643 ft ( 196 m )
25,981 ft ( 7,919 m )
Building Volume
12,300,000 m³ ( 434,370,000 cu ft )
Installed capacity
14,000 MW
20×700 MW
Type of dam
Combination hollow gravity dam
Paraná River
Reservoi name
Itaipu Reservoir
Reservoir area
1,350 k㎡ (520 sq mi)
Original water level
104 m
Current water level
220 m
Reservoi Maximum length
170 km (110 mi)
Total capacity
29 km³ (23,510,000 acre ft)

Itaipu Dam Location On Earth

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