Peru’s 220-MW El Platanal to operate in October

The developer of the 220-MW El Platanal hydroelectric project reports the project is to begin commercial operation in October on Peru’s Canete River south of Lima.

Developer Compania Electrica El Platanal (Celepsa) told state news agency Andina that construction of El Platanal would be completed in July and that the project would begin commercial operation in October, five months earlier than the previous March 2010 deadline.

Celepsa General Manager Peter Lerner said investment in the project amounts to US$312 million, 50 percent higher than the original estimate of US$210 million.

The investment is funded 44 percent by shareholders Cementos Lima, Cemento Andino and Corporacion Aceros Arequipa. The remaining 56 percent comes from financial institutions, Lerner said. Banco de Credito del Peru granted a loan of US$120 million, while Scotiabank provided a credit of US$60 million.

Upon completion, El Platanal is to generate 1.1 million megawatt-hours annually. Lerner said the developer was working to line up power customers. Project power is to be delivered through the national grid to Arequipa and other cities.

Lerner said Celepsa is interested in selling power by auction to distribution utilities, including Edelnor, Luz del Sur, and Distriluz, this year.

Lerner said Celepsa has a concession to build a second hydro project associated with El Platanal on another section of the Canete.

The 50- to 100-MW El Platanal 2 project is intended to further reinforce the Canete River Basin with a system of dams with a minimum total capacity of 175 million cubic meters. (HNN 9/5/08) In addition to the added hydropower generation, the US$450 million second stage is to expand irrigation for cultivation of at least 27,000 hectares.

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