Developer Coca Codo Sinclair S.A. opened envelopes containing the bidders' technical offers. Each consortium is to submit a letter of intent to finance up to 85 percent of the project.
A special committee is to qualify the bidders over about 15 days. After that, envelopes containing financial offers are to be opened. The committee will have until April 20 to submit its report on the bidding to the Comite Especial de Contrataciones.
Coca Codo Sinclair S.A. is a joint venture of Compania de Generacion Termoelectrica Pichincha S.A. (Termopichincha) of Ecuador and Energia Argentina S.A. (Enarsa) of Argentina.
Ecuador is to finance 70 percent of the US$1.6 billion project, with Argentina providing the remaining 30 percent. The government previously said Coca Codo Sinclair's ten 150-MW turbine-generators are to begin operation in 2012, generating power at a cost of 2 cents per kWh.
Two consortia led by Chinese firms submitted bids March 3 to build the 1,500-MW Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric project on the Coca River in Ecuador's Napo Province.
Ecuador's presidency issued a statement saying consortia SinoHydro-Andes JV and Sino-Ecuador submitted bids by the deadline.