QUITO, Ecuador 3/30/12 (PennWell) -- Ecuador's 275-MW Minas San Francisco hydroelectric plant has been approved by the country's environmental ministry, sources report.
A resolution passed by the ministry grants an environmental license for the hydropower project, which will reduce carbon dioxide by an estimated 700,000 tons per year.
The US$500 million project is owned by state utility Corporacion Electrica del Ecuador (Celec), and is being funded in part by the China Development Bank.
The project includes a 78-meter-high dam, three Pelton-type turbines and a 45-km transmission line.
Commissioning is expected by the end of 2015.