Costa Rica inaugurates 305.5-MW Reventazon hydropower plant

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis, on Sept. 16, inaugurated the US$1.4 billion 305.5-MW Reventazon hydroelectric plant on the Reventazon River, located in the Limon province of Costa Rica.

Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Costa Rica’s state-owned electric and telecommunications utility, will operate the facility that includes a 130-meter-tall dam, a 6.9-square-km reservoir and a 4.2 km diversion between the dam and powerhouse. The powerhouse contains five turbine-generators.

Abengoa of Spain and Siemens of Germany received a contract in 2014 to equip and construct a substation for the project. In addition, Andritz Hydro Gmbh was contracted in 2012 to provide four Francis turbines, auxiliary generators, control systems, and balance of plant. Sistemas de Potencia received a contract that year to provide a main bridge crane.

The Inter-American Development Bank approved $200 million in financing for Reventazon in October 2012 and a $670 million loan for the project in May.

Work on the plant began in 2010 and ICE describes it as Central America’s second-largest infrastructure work after the Panama Canal.

Costa Rica receives about 80% of its energy from hydroelectric plants and the Reventazon project is expected to power 525,000 homes, providing electricity to roughly one-third of the country’s population.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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