Miner to buy power from Ecuador’s 37.5-MW Hidroabanico

Canadian mining firm Corriente Resources Inc. has signed a letter of intent with Hidroabanico S.A. to purchase power from the 37.5-MW Hidroabanico hydroelectric project, which is under construction in Ecuador.

Corriente said March 22 the letter of intent envisions a 10-year power purchase agreement to supply 28.5 MW needed by Corriente’s Mirador Copper-Gold mining operation, which is under development. The agreement would have a price of US5 cents per kWh.

Hidroabanico has been completed to the 15-MW stage and is to be expanded to its full 37.5-MW capacity by December. The project is to deliver power to the mine by a dedicated transmission line costing about US$10 million, which will be included in the capital cost estimate of the Mirador mining operation.

The run-of-river hydro project is to produce �green� energy that qualifies for sale of carbon credits, Corriente said.

As part of the letter of intent, Hidroabanico will have first right to sell additional power to a planned expansion at Mirador.

Corriente seeks new development options for 26-MW Sabanilla

Because the agreement will meet the energy needs of Mirador, Corriente said it plans no further work at the 26-MW Sabanilla hydroelectric project it had been developing on southern Ecuador’s Sabanilla River. Corriente owned 82 percent of Sabanilla, while Ecuador engineering firm Caminos y Canales C. Limitada (Caminosca) held 18 percent.

Corriente said options are under review for developing the run-of-river Sabanilla with local operators as a spot power producer. Since 1999, Ecuador has had a competitive wholesale electricity market operated by Centro Nacional de Control de Energia.

For information, contact Dan Carriere, Corriente Resources Inc., 520-800 W. Pender St., Vancouver, BC V6C 2V6 Canada; (1) 604-687-0449; Fax: (1) 604-687-0827; E-mail: copper@corriente.com; Internet: www.corriente.com.

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