CEL inks ICE to supervise construction of 66-MW El Chaparral hydropower plant

Salvadoran utility Comision Ejecutiva Hidroelectrica del Rio Lempa (CEL) has signed a deal with Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) of Costa Rica to supervise construction of the 66-MW EL Chaparral hydropower plant.                                                    

The work is expected to take 27 months, during which time ICE will provide about 40 workers to supervise construction of civil works; erection of structures and equipment; and the supply of electrical and mechanical systems. The company will also provide assistance with documents, inspections and technical support.

El Chaparral is to include a roller-compacted-concrete dam, reservoir, powerhouse and a substation just upstream of the Torola River’s confluence with the San Juan River near San Antonio del Mosco in El Salvador.

HydroWorld.com reported in December 2013 that CEL had extended a second round of pre-qualifications for the project’s construction.

CEL originally awarded a contract to Astaldi S.p.A. of Italy to build El Chapparal on a turnkey basis in October 2008.

However, the companies agreed in 2012 to terminate the contract by mutual consent because it did not provide for a redesign of the project found to be necessary after Tropical Storm Agatha caused landslides in 2010, leading to the discovery of geological instability in a portion of the project site. CEL said the parties resorted to a direct settlement due to the need to reactivate the project as soon as possible and to prevent further damage to the site.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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