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Construction preparation begins for 2,400-MW Ituango in Colombia

MEDELLIN, Colombia 9/22/11 (PennWell) -- Colombia utility Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM) reports contractors have started preliminary work to begin construction of the 2,400-MW Ituango hydroelectric project on Colombia's Cauca River.

A consortium of Ferrovial Agroman Chile S.A. and Sainc Ingenieros Constructores S.A. of Colombia has begun importation of equipment, processing of legal documents, and recruitment of staff to build construction camps and perform other work. Ferrovial Agroman and Sainc received a 55 million euro (US$77.3 million) contract in July to build a powerhouse access tunnel and two river diversion tunnels.

EPM said Colombia firm AIA (Arquitectos e Ingenieros Asociados) is carrying out topographic surveying and acquisition of building materials for construction camps AIA is to build. The utility also said oversight has begun for the project's main civil works and installation of electro-mechanical equipment, to be carried out by a consortium of Colombian engineering companies Ingetec and Sedic under a US$66.3 million contract.

The largest hydroelectric project in Colombia, Ituango is to have eight turbine-generators. Investment is expected to total at least US$3 billion. Construction is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2013.

Colombian JV Hidroituango, formed by EPM and the government of Antioquia Department, created a special purpose company, EPM Ituango, to manage development of the project.

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