Guatemala utility to seek bids to build 180-MW Xalala

An official of Instituto Nacional de Electrificacion (INDE) told local media the Guatemala utility will issue a request for bids to build the 180-MW Xalala hydroelectric project on Guatemala’s Chixoy River. The solicitation, to be issued September 25, is to seek bids by March 31, 2008.

Previous statements by INDE had indicated the utility would merely seek bids for feasibility studies. (HNN 7/27/07) However, INDE General Manager Marinius Boer told reporters last week the solicitation is to be for studies and development of the project on a build-operate-transfer basis.

Boer said a winning bidder is to be announced by May 15, 2008. The estimated US$350 million to US$400 million project is to be built on the border for Quiche and Alta Verapaz departments.

The official said INDE seeks an international company with ample experience to contribute 80 percent of the project investment. The remainder would come from Guatemalan investors. INDE is to award a 30-year power purchase contract to the winning bidder.

Studies to be performed over two years are to include technical, social, and environmental details to be incorporated into a feasibility study of the project. Construction is to require another three years.

INDE said the solicitation would be published September 25, with bid documents to be available for US$10,000. Terms of reference are to be available on INDE’s Internet site, www.inde.gob.gt.

For information, contact Instituto Nacional de Electrificacion, 7th Ave. 2-29, Zone 9, Guatemala City, Guatemala; (502) 2-4221800; Fax: (502) 2-4222040; Internet: www.inde.gob.gt/inde.htm.

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