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EPM signs formal HidroItuango hydropower project contract

The local development agency of Colombia's Antioquia department (IDEA) and Medellin-based multi-utility EPM have signed the formal agreement for the latter to finance, construct, operate and maintain the US$2.8 billion HidroItuango hydroelectric power project in Colombia, EPM reported in a press statement.

The parties reached an initial agreement for the 2,400-MW hydro project in July this year and have since been negotiating smaller details to the contract, Business News Americas reported.

EPM will have a 50-year contract over the management of the facility, covering an eight-year construction phase and 42 years of operations. Construction is slated to begin in 2013, reports indicate. The plant is set to be online in 2018, previous reports indicate.

Planned for the Cauca River, the hydro project will use eight turbines and will be the largest hydroelectric project in the country.

EPM holds 46.47 percent of the project, while Antioquia's government holds 52.88 percent, wire reports indicate.

In other news, Santo Antonio Energia aims to launch commercial operations at the 3,150-MW Santo Antonio hydropower project in Brazil by December 2011, a spokesperson for the firm told wire services. The hydro plant is being built on the Madeira River in the Amazon region.

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