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President begins river diversion for Mexico's 750-MW La Yesca

Mexico President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa gave the order March 11 to begin diversion of the Santiago River, starting dam construction at the 750-MW La Yesca hydroelectric project in Jalisco State, near the border of Nayarit State. �This will undoubtedly be the most important hydroelectric project of this administration, together with El Cajon begun during the previous administration, which would place Mexico at the forefront of clean electricity generation,� Calderon said. He noted La Yesca's US$767 million, 220-meter-tall concrete-faced rockfill dam will be one of the tallest of its type and 34.5 meters taller than the 750-MW El Cajon project, which began operation in 2007. (HNN 1/24/08) Mexico constructor Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA) closed financing in 2008 of a US$910 million long-term credit to build La Yesca. (HNN 4/8/08) Mexico's Comision Federal de Electricidad awarded a contract to build La Yesca in 2007 to a consortium led by ICA. Calderon noted construction of the dam over several years will create 5,000 direct jobs and 15,000 indirect ones. �Behind this dam, there is not only the decision to have more and better electricity and clean energy, but the conviction that we must work hard and deal firmly and fearlessly with this economic downturn,� the president said. Russian equipment supplier Power Machines won a contract to supply turbine-generators and other equipment. The company is to deliver two 375-MW hydropower turbines and other hydro-mechanical and electrical equipment from 2008-2012.

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