Bidding seen for Argentina’s 90-MW Portezuelo del Viento

Officials of Argentina’s Mendoza Province say they expect to seek bids by the end of 2006 to develop the 90-MW Portezuelo del Viento hydroelectric project on the Rio Grande.

Deputy Infrastructure Secretary Carlos Santilli told Business News Americas the province is still defining project details, which include two alternatives. A 90-MW alternative would build the powerhouse at the dam toe to generate 650 gigawatt-hours per year. A 120-MW alternative would build the plant below the dam to generate 990 GWh per year.

Under the 90-MW scenario, Portezuelo del Viento would include a 151-meter-tall, 510-meter-long concrete-faced rockfill dam and a powerhouse containing three 30-MW Francis turbine-generators.

In June, a basin agency, Comite Interjurisdiccional del Rio Colorado, approved plans for Mendoza’s Ministerio de Ambiente y Obras Publicas to draft tender documents for design of the estimated 1 billion peso (US$324 million) project. (HNN 6/30/06)

Santilli said construction would begin by the end of 2007 at the earliest and would require up to six years. The province plans to seek bids for construction and to issue a subsequent solicitation for an operating concession.

The official said a second stage of the project is envisioned in which water would be diverted from the Rio Grande by canals to the Atuel River for irrigation of 58,000 hectares. Santilli said the diversion also would result in increased generation at the 264.4-MW Los Nihuiles hydro complex on the Atuel.

For information, contact Province of Mendoza, Ministerio de Ambiente y Obras Publicas, Direccion de Administracion de Contratos y Obras Publicas, Av. L. Peltier 351, 7 Piso, Mendoza M5500IDE, Argentina; (54) 261-4492607; Fax: (54) 261-4492616; E-mail:; Internet:

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