Consortium named for rehab study of two 50-MW Nicaragua hydros

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) has awarded a contract to perform a feasibility study of rehabilitating two 50-MW hydroelectric projects in Nicaragua.

CABEI, which administered the bidding process for Nicaraguan utility Empresa Nicaraguense de Electricidad (Enel), awarded the contract to the Applus-Norcontrol-Nipsa consortium, Business News Americas reported.

The bank sought a consultant to determine improvements necessary to refurbish the 50-MW Centroamerica and 50-MW Santa Barbara hydroelectric projects. (HNN 6/20/07)

An Enel subsidiary, Generadora Hidroelectrica S.A. (Hidrogesa), operates the plants, which began operation in 1965 and 1971. The plants operate in a cascade, with Centroamerica using water from Apanas Dam that then is discharged to Virgen Dam where Santa Barbara reuses the water before it is released to the Viejo River.

CABEI said equipment in the plants has reached the end of its useful life. The feasibility study is to diagnose the current situation; examine options for rehabilitation, modernization, or repowering; analyze cost-benefits of each option; and formulate a plan to implement study results.

IADB to provide funds to Nicaragua power system

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) awarded US$32.7 million to Nicaragua December 10 for a program to strengthen Nicaragua’s electricity system. It also said it might grant another US$40.2 million for the program that would be partly dedicated to rehabilitating Centroamerica and Santa Barbara.

IADB said the initial US$32.7 million will be supplemented with loans totaling US$40.8 million from CABEI and the European Investment Bank. Nicaragua is to invest US$4.8 million.

The initial funding is mainly to finance transmission and transformers for the Nicaragua power system. Hidrogesa is to carry out the program with national power transmission company ENATREL.

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