Giant ‘Hidroituango’ Hydroelectric Project Now 70% Complete: EPM
Medellin-based multinational utilities giant EPM announced July 7 that its 2.4-gigawatt “Hidroituango” hydroelectric plant project in Antioquia is now 70% complete – with an initial 300-megawatts (MW) of electric output scheduled to start at end-2018.
The US$5.5 billion project – Colombia’s biggest-ever hydroelectric plant and its largest-single infrastructure project – is jointly owned by EPM and the departmental government of Antioquia.
Beyond the initial 300-MW generator, another seven turbine generators will be installed in stages between 2019 and 2021, when the plant reaches full capacity.
A 225-meters-high dam on the Rio Cauca is already 62% complete, while the underground area that houses the mechanical and transformer sections is now fully excavated, according to EPM.
“With EPM engineers and operatives, satisfactory progress has been made in the assembly of the hydromechanical and electromechanical equipment of what will be the new generation plant,” EPM general manager Jorge Londoño de la Cuesta said. “The construction of the main works is progressing in compliance with the schedule and with the commitment to deliver the first 300-MW to the country by the end of 2018.”
The Ituango hydroelectric project currently employs 11,247 – most from Antioquia, and only 24 foreigners, according to EPM.