Born in 1922, in Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais), Mario Bhering graduated in Civil Engineering from the Escola Nacional de Engenharia (National Engineering School), of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in 1945. A major precursor of his time, he was one of the main responsible people for the development of the Brazilian electricity sector in the 1960s and 1970s, holding some of the most relevant positions in the country’s energy field.
He was part of the founding group, in addition to being the first commercial director of Centrais Elétricas de Minas Gerais (Cemig). Working in the institution since 1951, he held important positions in the company, and became president in the periods between 1964 and 1967, and between 1983 and 1985.
At Eletrobras, he was president twice: from 1967 to 1975, and from 1985 to 1990. At the holding company, he had an important role since his first eight years corresponded, largely, to the national economy growing cycle, known as “the Brazilian miracle”.
He was also chairman of the Comissão de Integração Energética Regional da América Latina (Latin America Regional Energy Integration Commission) – Cier in 1967, consultant and one of the creators of the Itaipu binational project (1977), and member of the Furnas Centrais Elétricas Board of Directors (1965-1967), among other professional activities.
When he retook Eletrobras presidency in 1985, he idealized the creation of the Centro da Memória da Eletricidade (Memory of Electricity Centre) in Brazil, managed by electricity sector companies, and became its first president, in 1986.
During his administration at the Memória, Mario Bhering launched, in 1988, the first edition of the book “Panorama do Setor Elétrico no Brasil” (Electricity Sector Scenario in Brazil), and important publication that gathers an extensive reconstitution of the electricity industry history in Brazil. “Panorama” became a mandatory source of consultation for those who study the electricity sector formation and development process in the country.
Mario Bhering, in addition to his career as an executive, he had another occupation that it is worth mentioning: artist. As watercolourist, he made relevant work inspired in the electricity sector.
He passed away in September 2009, at the age of 87 years old, in Belo Horizonte.