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Ecuador permits generation by 45-MW Baba Dam

Ecuador's electricity regulator has granted permission for power generation by the 45-MW Baba Dam being built on the Baba River in Ecuador's Guayas River Basin.

Consejo Nacional de Electricidad (Conelec) said it granted the permission to Hidroenergetico del Litoral (Hidrolitoral), the developer of the project, which was taken over by the Ecuador government in 2007. (HNN 7/24/07)

The Baba project, in Los Rios Province, includes construction, operation, and maintenance of the dam and eight-kilometer diversion from its reservoir on the Baba and Toachi rivers to the 213-MW Marcel Laniado de Wind hydroelectric project on the Daule and Peripa rivers.

Baba is to provide irrigation, flood control, and additional water to Laniado de Wind, which currently only uses 80 MW of its generating capacity. The diversion is to enable the project to generate an additional average of 388 gigawatt-hours per year, equal to 22 percent of Ecuador's current power imports.

Additionally, the project will feature its own 45-MW powerhouse.

Construction by Odebrecht of Brazil is under way, with completion scheduled for December 2009. The project investment is estimated at US$230 million.

Originally Hidrolitoral was a private concession holder, led by Odebrecht and including Papelera Nacional, Wong group, Cartopel, Nirsa, and Ipac. However, government utility Comision de Estudios para el Desarrollo de la Cuenca del Rio Guayas (Cedege) terminated the development contract in order to develop the project itself as owner of Hidrolitoral. Odebrecht continues to serve as the construction contractor.

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