July 12, 2024
General News

EPM Restores 100% of Guatape Hydroelectric Production

Medellin-based EPM – Colombia’s biggest power producer – on June 25 announced that it has now restored 100% of output at its 560-megawatt (MW) “Guatape” hydroelectric plant in Antioquia following a February 15 fire that had destroyed power cables.

The restoration came 68 days earlier than originally planned — thanks to fortuitous delivery of replacement cables from Mexico and an accelerated reconstruction schedule, according to the company, whose sole owner is the city of Medellin.

Insurance payments will cover much of the COP$200,000 million (US$68.8 million) in damages suffered, according to EPM general manager Jorge Londoño De la Cuesta. As a result, the city of Medellin and other municipalities that benefit from EPM operations and social programs won’t suffer a loss of income. Medellin alone gets an average of 20% of its annual income from EPM.

Labor and materials costs for the repairs are fully covered by insurance, as the insurance company investigators determined that the damage was the result of an accident rather than negligent maintenance or equipment defects, according to the company.

For the repair job, EPM imported replacement cables totaling 30 kilometers in length, along with tools and accessories weighing some 800 tons. Super-size Antonov airplanes flew the equipment from Mexico to Medellin, then high-capacity, extra-large truck caravans hauled the equipment to Guatape.

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