Neoenergia generates social and environmental benefits around Itapebi Hydro Power Plant





Investments in basic sanitation and home renovations serve the population of the municipality of Salto da Divisa, in Minas Gerais



The generation of social, environmental and economic benefits for the areas where it operates is part of Neoenergia's purpose. The company benefits the population of the municipality of Salto da Divisa, in Minas Gerais, in the surroundings of Itapebi hydroelectric plant (BA), with works for the implementation of a basic sanitation network and the execution of a housing adequacy program, offering more quality of life to the residents. 

“We actively participate in building a legacy for society, focusing on initiatives to benefit communities in the regions of our plants. In addition to generating renewable energy and contributing to the energy transition and a low-carbon economy, we always seek to create value for society", says José Paulo Werberich, Superintendent of Operations and Hydraulic Engineering at Neoenergia. 

The company invested R$ 2.5 million in the first stage of the city's basic sanitation support program, with the objective of implementing a network to serve the majority of the municipality - while at the beginning of the initiative, in 2018, less than 40% was served by the sanitation network. The project can contribute to improving people's health and is in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – mainly number 6, which provides for the guarantee of drinking water and sanitation – created by the United Nations and to which Neoenergia is committed. The second stage of the works has been engaged, awaiting environmental licensing by the city of Salto da Divisa, with an estimated duration of ten months after the issuance of the licenses. 

Investment in the sewage network can also influence the control of aquatic macrophytes development. These plants have numerous benefits for biodiversity, but if they grow excessively, they are considered weeds because of their negative impacts, such as impairing water quality. To avoid navigation and public health problems for the community, since 2015, Neoenergia has already allocated over R$ 4.6 million to the removal of this vegetation in Salto da Divisa, R$ 1.4 million of which in 2020. It should be noted that Neoenergia, since August 2020, has also carried out the monitoring and studies program on the development of these plants, with a focus on ecological control, cause of accelerated growth and possible destinations for these plants. The team of researchers found that the species have proliferated due to the discharge of sewage into water bodies in the municipality of Salto da Divisa. 

Renovation of properties 


Residents of Salto da Divisa are also benefiting from the Damaged Housing Adaptation Program. Altogether, up to 260 properties in the municipality may be covered, located in the defined polygon around 100 meters away from the plant's reservoir and the Lavapés stream, of which 12 have already been completed. The initiative was approved by the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama). 

Property renovations were started this year. Among the beneficiaries are the São Sebastião Parish and the Parish Hall, which received, among other interventions, painting, installation of ceramic flooring, reinforcement of structures and treatment of the walls. “The renovation was great, and people had a happy reaction. These improvements make our activities easier", celebrates the parish priest of the church, Father Paulo Roberto de Oliveira.




Among other actions, there is the loan for use agreement signed between Itapebi and the Associação dos Pescadores Artesanais da Região do Baixo Jequitinhonha (Association of Artisanal Fishermen of Baixo Jequitinhonha Region - ASBAPE), in the city of Itapebi (BA), in which an area of 7.23 hectares was leased for the development of activities of fish farming in net tanks. The project has 167 tanks, with an average annual production of 100 tons of tilapia, and benefits 80 fish farmers. 

The company also held in Itapebi, through Neoenergia Institute, the Project named Ideas Counter. The initiative trains municipal teachers to consolidate a network for the dissemination of innovative ideas and solutions in education through the systematization of pedagogical practices that work with the ten General Competences of the Common National Curricula Base (BNCC). 

In addition, since 2009, Neoenergia has made monthly donations to the Casa de Misericórdia in Itapebi, contributing to the maintenance of the institution, which shelters 20 vulnerable children 24/7. Since the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, donations of food baskets, masks and alcohol gel were also made to the Municipal Department of Social Assistance.