Hidroituango Wins Crucial Transmission Permit: Huge Boost for Medellin, Antioquia
The departmental government of Antioquia announced April 24 that the US$5.5 billion, 2.4-gigawatt “Hidroituango” hydroelectric project finally has won the first two of four power-transmission construction permits from Colombia’s environmental licensing agency (ANLA).
The remaining two permits are expected to be issued next month (May 2017), according to Instituto para el Desarollo de Antioquia (IDEA), the departmental agency heading the project along with Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM), the biggest power generator in Colombia.
The long-awaited permits now assure that Hidroituango will begin generating and distributing zero-emissions electric power as planned by December 2018 – a huge economic boost for Medellin, Antioquia and Colombia generally. Licensing delays could have caused multi-million-dollar losses on the project.
The first two ANLA licenses now allow construction of the “Antioquia-Medellín” and “Antioquia-Porce III” transmission lines, according to IDEA. These licenses were “mandatory for the entry into operation of the first phase of Hidroituango, scheduled for December 2018,” according to IDEA.
The second set of licenses for the “Porce III Sogamoso” and “Cerro Joao Antioquia Cerromatoso” transmission lines are likely to be issued next month, according to IDEA.
Construction of Hidroituango – Colombia’s biggest hydroelectric plant – is now 70% complete, the agency added. Ownership of the project is split between EPM and the government of Antioquia.
A March 2017 video by EPM (see link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLPwzj91uUE) shows highlights of construction progress.