ENEE, the state power company in Honduras, says the potential environmental and social impact of the planned US$37 million overhaul of the 300-MW Francisco Morazán hydro complex (also called El Cajon) would be low to moderate.
ENEE just released the project’s environmental and social evaluation and environmental management plan, according to BNamericas.
Francisco Morazán is on the Comayagua River in Cortés department, about 230 km from the capital of Tegucigalpa. The complex features a 226-m-high dam, a 5.7 billion m3 reservoir that covers 94 km2, and a machine house that holds four 75-MW Francis type turbines. The plant’s design allows for the installation of another four turbines.
The bulk of the modernization investment for the 35-year old plant, Honduras’ largest hydroelectric plant, would go to a new supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, equipment replacement, and the revamp and expansion of the substation.
The project would not displace families or generate ground pollution, according to the 600-page document. Nearly 500 residents live in the influence area of the plant and some 400 in the influence area of the treatment plant.
BNamericas reported previously that IDB had placed the project in its pipeline for possible financing.
Meanwhile, the Central American country’s congress approved the issue of bonds for US$600 million to finance ENEE debt with energy suppliers and creditors as part of ongoing efforts to reform the sector and further mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
The latest ENEE financials show that the company posted a net loss of US$8.4 million in March, unchanged from a year earlier. The utility’s revenue in the period rose 2%, offset in part by higher debt service.