At least 13 killed by collapse at Ecuador’s Coca Codo Sinclair hydropower plant

At least 13 people are dead and a dozen injured following the collapse of a pressure well at Ecuador’s 1,500-MW Coca Codo Sinclair hydropower project.

The US$2 billion plant is being constructed by China’s Sinohydro Corporation and is located on the border between Ecuador’s Nap and Subumbios provinces.

According to the Chinese embassy in Quito, the accident killed 10 Ecuadorean and three Chinese workers.

“We ask Chinese companies to reflect on this event, learn from this painful lesson, take appropriate measures, and increase safety to better protect Chinese and Ecuadorian workers,” the embassy said.

Sinohydro is reported to have begun an internal investigation regarding the incident.

HydroWorld.com reported in February 2008 that Argentina had signed an agreement with Ecuador calling for the joint development of the project.

Sinohydro was awarded the contract for the work in 2009, at which time the company agreed to finance 85% of the project. The remainder is being financed by Ecuador via oil sales to China.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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