Abstract. The ETE (Experimento Tokamak Esférico) is a small size aspect-ratio machine with major and minor radius of 30 cm and 20 cm,respectively. The vessel was made of Inconel and provides reasonable good access for plasma diagnostics through 58 Conflat ports. The first plasma was obtained at the end of 2000 and presently plasma currents of 45 kA lasting for about 4 ms are routinely obtained. Achievement of the designed parameters (plasma current up to 200 kA lasting for about 10 ms) for the first phase of operation is expected by the end of 2002, by increasing the energy of the capacitor banks and the operational voltage. A set of basic diagnostic for plasma characterization is already installed. This paper presents some details of the ETE project and the initial characterization of the plasma as well as the future plans. This work was supported by FAPESP, FINEP, and CNPq.