Colombia developer to invest US$900 million in 400-MW El Quimbo

Developer Generadora y Comercializadora de Energia (Emgesa) plans to invest US$900 million in the construction of the 400-MW El Quimbo hydroelectric project on Colombia’s Magdalena River.

Emgesa General Manager Lucio Diaz Rubio addressed the municipal government council in La Plata in Huila Department, saying the company plans to spend US$700 million in actual construction of the hydro project and another US$200 million for two substations to deliver its power.

Colombia’s presidential Internet site reported the project is to generate more than 3,000 jobs during construction and is to pay taxes to municipalities to compensate for inundated lands. Diaz Rubio said 362 relocated families have been offered new land in compensation.

In September, the national government condemned the land for the project, declaring the land to be of public utility and in the public interest. (HNN 9/18/08) The government certified the project area, near municipalities of Garzon, Gigante, El Agrado, and Altamira in Huila Department, does not include indigenous or minority communities that might be displaced by the project.

Colombia’s Comision de Regulacion de Energia y Gas (CREG) authorized purchase of power from El Quimbo in June. Emgesa is to receive a 20-year power contract priced at US$14 per megawatt-hour. El Quimbo is to begin operation in December 2014.

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