AES Panama sells 50 MW from proposed 223-MW Changuinola 1

AES Panama, a hydro development unit of AES Corp. of the United States, has signed a power sales contract to supply 50 MW to two Panama utilities from AES’ proposed 223-MW Changuinola 1 hydroelectric project on Panama’s Changuinola River.

Fitch rating service reported the contract is for sale of power for US$81.05 per MWh to distribution utilities Empresa de Distribucion Electrica Metro-Oeste S.A. (Edemet) and Empresa de Distribucion Electrica Chiriqui (Edechi).

Changuinola 1 is being developed by another AES subsidiary, AES Changuinola, to whom AES Panama is providing consulting, development, and management services under contract. AES Panama also agreed to buy firm capacity and energy from AES Changuinola.

In July, Vattenfall Power Consultant of Sweden won a contract for detailed engineering of civil works for Changuinola 1. (HNN 7/16/07) It is to include a 90-meter-tall roller-compacted-concrete dam, power intake, 4,300-meter pressurized headrace tunnel, powerhouse, switchyard, substation, and a mini-hydropower plant at the dam foot.

Civil work already has begun on access roads, camps, and excavation. When complete in 2010, the project is to generate more than 1,040 GWh per year.

Upon its completion, Changuinola 1 will make AES the largest generator of electricity in Panama. AES’ other Panama hydro projects include 42-MW La Estrella, 48-MW Los Valles, 122-MW Esti, and 237-MW Bayano.

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