Business

The billion-dollar time bomb Brazil needs to diffuse

The Itaipu dam is a symbol of national pride in Brazil. When it was inaugurated, in 1984, it was the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world, and its magnitude earned it a spot on the list of the seven modern wonders of the world. It is, however, as much Paraguayan as it is Brazilian. Built in a border region along the Paraná River, it is half-owned by each country. But since Brazil’s appetite for electricity is infinitely bigger than its small neighbor, it buys around 85 percent of Paraguay’s share. With the Brazilian half combined, Itaipu accounts...

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