Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
21-25 May 2023
In May of odd years, RIAC organizes the biannual Ibero-American Regional Encounter of CIGRE - ERIAC, in the region called “The Triple Frontier”, a tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, on a rotating basis among these three countries.
During the ERIAC, sessions are held by the 16 “mirror” National Study Committees of the Region, in which the articles approved by the Technical Committee of the event are presented by the authors and debated by the participants.
In 2023, the Brazilian National Committee of CIGRE was again responsible for promoting the XIX ERIAC, an edition that was not held in 2021 due to the restrictions arising from the global health crisis.
Embracing the challenge and, together with the ever-important partnership of Itaipu Binacional, the event took place from May 21 to 25, 2023, at the Rafain Palace Hotel & Convention Center, in the city of Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná, Brazil.
The figures relating to this Encounter were impressive and surpassed all public and quality expectations, hence reflecting the excellence of this 19th edition.
Thus, it is with great pride that we inform that the event had 826 participants, representing 18 countries, 180 companies, and 52 teaching and research institutions, of which there were 588 participants from Brazil, 76 from Paraguay, 64 from Argentina, 43 from Colombia, 21 from Spain and 34 from 13 other countries. The presence of these talented people enriched each of the 110 sessions and allowed sharing of experiences and insights from different contexts.
Participating in the ERIAC opening ceremony were the director general of the National Electric System Operator (ONS), Luiz Carlos Ciocchi; the president of CIGRE-Brasil, João Carlos de Oliveira Mello; the president of RIAC, Pablo Rodríguez Herrerías; the chairman of the CIGRE Technical Council, Márcio Szechtman; the president of the Organizing Committee of the XIX
ERIAC, José Henrique Machado Fernandes; the coordinator of the Technical Committee of the XIX ERIAC, Antonio Carlos Barbosa Martins, the superintendent of Operations at Itaipu, and the general and executive coordinator of the Encounter, Rodrigo Gonçalves Pimenta.
The Brazilian director general of Itaipu, Enio Verri, was also present through a video welcoming all the participants, stating that “It is in events such as this that we observe the improvement in the quality of services that we provide to society and, why not, to humanity”.
In addition, during the ceremony, 16 “Miembros/Membros Distinguidos de RIAC” (Remarkable Members), according to RIAC Statutes, named below, were awarded diplomas and medals:
|Antonio Adam Nill||Paraguay|
|Eric Bolívar Villagómez||Mexico|
|Fernando Soto Martos||Spain|
|Francisco Salamanca Segoviano||Spain|
|João Batista Guimarães Ferreira da Silva||Brazil|
|João Felix Nolasco|| |
Jorge Alberto Nizovoy
José Henrique Machado Fernandes
Luis Velasco Bodega
Niromar Alves de Rezende
|Óscar Emanuel de Magalhães Ribeiro|| |
Patricia Liliana Arnera
Renato Valdivia Fuentes
Roberto Dalmacio Molina Mylius
Ruy Carlos Ramos de Menezes
Victor Manuel da Costa A. M. Baptista
Following on, the keynote speaker João Carlos de Oliveira Mello, president of CIGRE-Brasil gave the opening lecture with the theme “Regional Electrical Integration – energy transition and the increase in the share of renewables in the energy matrices of the Southern Cone”. After this excellent lecture had ended, Expo ERIAC opened, with 24 stands from different companies and institutions in the electricity sector.
At the end of the Opening Session, a welcoming cocktail was offered and the EXPOERIAC was inaugurated, providing participants with the opportunity to learn about the latest innovations, projects, and solutions developed by the companies and institutions present. The diversity and quality of the stands certainly impressed all visitors, thereby stimulating new ideas and partnerships.
Quality technical sessions – The high point of the XIX ERIAC
On May 22, 23, and 24, the Technical Sessions of the 16 CIGRE Study Committees were held. During this period, 110 Technical Sessions took place in which 411 papers selected by the Technical Committee from a total of 784 synopses received were presented and debated. The technical discussions enriched the event, by dealing with the use of new technologies, methods, and practices developed by power utilities, manufacturers, research centers, and universities.
The Technical Sessions were moderated by experts from Brazil, Argentina Paraguay, and Colombia, several of whom are regular members of the CIGRE Study Committees.
The WiE and NGN Panel
A differential of this 19th edition was the inclusion of a panel with presentations related to the matters of Women in Energy (WiE) and the Next Generation Network (NGN). These are CIGRE actions that aim to obtain a greater amplitude of female participation, as well as seek to increase the number of professionals and students at the beginning of their careers in the energy sector.
The panel in question was presented on Monday (May 22), bringing together a total of 135 people, 90 men and 45 women.
A welcome was given by the president of RIAC, Pablo Rodríguez, who provided an outline relating to the participation of some of the countries of the Region engaged in these two actions.
There then followed two steps. First, the presentation of the NGN representatives, moderated by Gabriela Desirê, Executive Director of Operations at ISA CTEEP - who also presented data on the company's journey towards gender equality, with the aim of contributing to a change in this scenario.
Representing Brazil, the coordinator Joyce Meireles Siqueira, an engineer at the National Electric System Operator (ONS), reported on the role of the NGN in CIGRE, and its initiatives, such as the program to encourage young professionals to participate in technical seminars.
After this, it was the turn of the WiE presenters to speak, moderated by the international chair, Solange David, from Brazil.
Also representing Brazil, the coordinator of the CIGRE-Brasil Women's Forum, Carla Damasceno Peixoto, opened the 2nd part. She presented numbers corresponding to the genders in the institution, together with the aspirations, goals, and concrete actions to achieve the desired equity.
Forum of nations
On the afternoon of May 24, the Forum of Nations was held with the participation of renowned speakers who addressed the theme “The evolution of energy systems in Ibero-America towards the Net Zero scenario of 2050”.
The Forum moderator was the chairman of the CIGRE Technical Council, Marcio Szechtman, from Brazil, and the following lectures were presented:
The vision of the Iberian Peninsula and Europe
Speaker: Pedro Ávila – Director of Operational Sustainability at REN – Portugal
The vision of the Iberian Peninsula and Europe
Speaker: Eva Pagán – Corporate Director of Sustainability and Studies at Redeia – Spain
The vision of Latin America
Speaker: María Nohemí Arboleda Arango – General Manager of XM, Colombia.
The vision of the Regulation of the Brazilian Electricity Sector
Speaker: Agnes Maria de Aragão da Costa – Director of ANEEL, Brazil.
After the lectures had finished there was a question-and-answer session with the participants, and debates were held on the topics presented. This edition of the Forum of Nations provided an excellent update on the topic of energy transition toward carbon neutrality.
After the Forum of Nations, the Closing Session of the XIX ERIAC took place. On this occasion, the coordinator of the Technical Committee, Antonio Carlos Barbosa Martins, gave a presentation during which he highlighted the high technical level achieved by the event. In addition, he also presented the main technical conclusions resulting from the articles and debates and disclosed the three best papers from each one of the 16 Study Committees. Thus, 46 articles received awards, 29 from Brazil, 6 from Argentina, 4 from Spain, 3 from Colombia, 2 from Portugal, and 2 from Paraguay.
The authors of the best papers that stood out for their innovations and technical qualities were duly honored and received certificates of recognition.
Lastly, closing the XIX ERIAC, the Financial-Executive Director of Itaipu Binacional, André Pepitone, and the President of CIGRE-Brasil, João Carlos de Oliveira Mello, took the floor, who thanked and congratulated everyone who had contributed to the success of the event.
On the night of May 24, the XIX ERIAC Gala Dinner was held. During dinner, there were also music performances and a stunning staging of the Legend of the Iguazu Waterfalls, which contributed to brightening up this superbly special last moment of the event.
Technical visits to Itaipu hydroelectric plant and furnas HVDC substation
As a complementary activity of the XIX ERIAC, on May 25, 4 technical visits were undertaken - two to ITAIPU and to the PTI hydrogen plant and two to the FURNAS HVDC converter substation, thus providing a great opportunity for participants to visit the Itaipu plant, which is the world’s largest generator of electricity, as well as the important Furnas substation, an integral part of the transmission system of this plant.
On May 20 and 21, which preceded the event, the 31st ordinary meeting of the Iberian-American Region of CIGRE-RIAC was held, which covered the organizational aspects of RIAC and its National Committees, as well as the latest information and actions to hold XIX ERIAC.
At this meeting, the new RIAC Board of Directors was also elected, for the period from May/2023 to May/2025, with the following elected members:
- President: Pablo Rodríguez Herrerías - Spain
- Vice-president: Josias Matos de Araujo - Brazil
- Technical Director: Maria Nohemí Arboleda Arango - Colombia
- Secretary: Hugo Valente - Portugal
- Co-Secretary: Alfredo Cárdenas – Chile
- Event Organization Director: Liliana Marcela P. Hernández- Colombia
After 6 years, the maximum period according to RIAC Statutes, Pedro Cabral (Portugal) and Gustavo Barbera (Argentina) RIAC Secretary and Co-Secretary respectively, could not renew their mandate for another 2 years and were farewelled with emotion after 6 years of success and collaborative work towards the improvement of RIAC activities and developments.
The XIX ERIAC consolidated the innovations implemented in the last events, thus contributing to raising the technical level of both the papers presented and the debates, as well as expanding the sharing of knowledge and the strengthening of the friendship and CIGRE spirit in the Iberian-American Region.