Dominican President Leonel Fernandez initiated construction of the 87-MW Las Placetas hydroelectric project July 16, detonating the first explosives at the construction site.
With a total investment of US$258 million, Las Placetas is to include a dam built on the Bao River, with a tunnel to divert water to the Jagua River, where a second dam will be built.
Vice President Radhames Segura of Corporacion Dominicana de Empresas Electricas (CDEEE) spoke at the ceremony, noting Las Placetas is being developed under the Plan Integral initiated by Fernandez to help solve the country’s electricity shortage. CDEEE subsidiary Empresa de Generacion Hidroelectrica (Egehid) last year announced expansion plans that include development of Las Placetas and 14 other hydropower projects totaling 762 MW between 2006 and 2012. (HNN 10/26/06)
Brazil’s Construtora Andrade Gutierrez is building Las Placetas with US$71.2 million in funding assistance from Brazil’s national development bank, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimiento Economica e Social (BNDES). Work is to be completed in 2010.
A representative of Andrade Gutierrez, Jose Carlos Marques, addressed the ceremony, saying Las Placetas will utilize Dominican natural resources, create jobs, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.