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Colombia hydro utility to build 2,688-MW Pescadero Ituango

Hydro generator Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM) announced it plans to construct the 2,688-MW Pescadero Ituango hydroelectric project on Colombia's Ituango River.

EPM has submitted an environmental impact statement for the project to Colombia's environment, housing, and territorial development ministry, Business News Americas reported. EPM General Manager Juan Felipe Gaviria Gutierrez said the project is viable based on a technical, economic, environmental, and social feasibility study. (HNN 3/26/07)

EPM owns 44 percent of the project development venture, Sociedad Pescadero Ituango. Other shareholders are Antioquia Department's development agency, Instituto para el Desarrollo de Antioquia, with 42.4 percent; Integral S.A. with 2.3 percent; Antioquia Department with 2.1 percent, the Colombia government with 1.7 percent; and small shareholders with 7.1 percent.

The US$2.29 billion project is to include a 220-meter-tall dam and a powerhouse containing eight 336-MW Francis turbine-generators. EPM said it could begin operation within 105 months of environmental licensing.

Gaviria said development of the project also is dependent on financial and market studies.

A feasibility study completed in 1983 by consultant Integral identified Pescadero-Ituango as one of five viable hydroelectric projects on the middle section of the Cauca River Basin. Based on that study, Pescadero-Ituango would have an installed capacity of 3,560 MW. However, the project was shelved because of its size and the peso crisis of the early 1990s.

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