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Hidroituango Hydroelectric Plant in Antioquia Hidroituango Hydroelectric Plant in Antioquia Source: EPM

Coronavirus Outbreak to Delay Hidroituango Start-up to 2022: EPM

Published in Companies Written by  June 12 2020 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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Medellin-based electric power giant EPM revealed June 11 in a filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera oversight agency that its US$5 billion, 2.4-gigawatt “Hidroituango” hydroelectric plant in Antioquia won’t start-up until 2022.

The company had been planning for a December 2021 start-up of the first four turbine units. But the Covid-19 outbreak that is idling hundreds of project workers will result in construction delays, according to the company.

Despite the delay, “EPM expects to meet its firm energy obligations associated with the reliability charge within the deadlines established” by Colombia’s electric-power planning agency, CREG.

More Workers Recovering

On a related front, EPM announced June 11 that the first 50 workers of 295 infected with Coronavirus have now fully recovered.

After complying with 20-day isolation protocols and subsequent Covid-19 tests showing negative results of infection, the recovered workers are returing to their homes, according to the company.

“The 245 people who still carry the virus have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, so they have so far not required hospital care associated with virus symptoms. These workers remain in isolation in Medellín, under medical supervision and care,” the company added.

Another 153 workers -- initially in precautionary, preventive isolation -- have now been found free of infection following double tests for Covid-19.

“These people already have the certificate that allows them to return to their homes, always with the accompaniment of the CCCI [construction consortium] and EPM [management] consortium,” according to the company.

“All of them have been working on the project for 90 days and, after this negative test against Covid-19, they will be able to return to their homes.

“In the next 50 days, another 800 workers are expected to be able to go to their municipalities to enjoy days-off. Before returning to work, they must comply with voluntary isolation and be re-tested. If in this process they are detected as carriers of the coronavirus, then they will be transferred to facilities conditioned for their individual isolation and observation and permanent attention by their EPS,” the company added.

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