Bank funds construction of Ecuador’s Baba Dam

The Inter-American Development Bank approved an US$87.8 million loan May 2 for construction of the multipurpose Baba Dam in Ecuador’s Guayas River Basin.

Work is to include construction, operation, and maintenance of the dam and eight-kilometer diversion from its reservoir on the Baba and Toachi rivers to the 213-MW Marcel Laniado de Wind hydroelectric project on the Daule and Peripa rivers.

The project is to provide additional water to Laniado de Wind, which currently only uses 80 MW of its generating capacity. The diversion is to enable the project to generate an additional average of 388 gigawatt-hours per year, equal to 22 percent of Ecuador’s current power imports.

Baba is to be built in two years by a public-private partnership for a total of US$195.2 million. The key private sector participant is Odebrecht Investimentos em Infra-Estrutura Ltda.

A consortium led by Odebrecht was named winning bidder to develop Baba in 2006, with a bid of US$208 million. (HNN 3/9/06) Odebrecht has a 14.5 percent stake in Consortium Hidroenergetico del Litoral (CHL). Other partners are Papelera Nacional with 28 percent, Wong group with 24 percent, Cartopel with 16.5 percent, Nirsa with 14 percent, and Ipac with 2 percent.

CHL is to become a partner with Hidropacifico, which is in charge of building and operating Baba for 35 years. The consortium, which includes paper and packaging companies, was expected to issue debt up to US$90 million to help finance the project.

Original plans called for Baba to have its own 50 MW of installed capacity, to generate power for consortium member companies’ use.

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