Costa Rica president helps inaugurate 50-MW La Joya

Costa Rica President Oscar Arias Sanchez was among dignitaries participating in the inauguration June 16 of the 50-MW La Joya hydroelectric project on Costa Rica’s Reventazon River.

Built by a Costa Rican unit of Spain’s Union Fenosa, La Joya is 60 kilometers from San Jose and just downstream of the 100.8-MW Cachi hydroelectric project operated by Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE). The 80 million euro (US$107 million) project delivers the discharge from Cachi through an eight-kilometer tunnel to the La Joya powerhouse’s three 17-MW vertical Francis turbine-generators.

Construction of the project began in 2003. Alstom received a 13 million euro (US$15 million) turnkey order from Union Fenosa Generadora La Joya S.A. to supply complete electro-mechanical equipment.

La Joya is Union Fenosa’s first project in Costa Rica and its first hydroelectric project in more than 30 years. (HNN 6/14/07) Its last hydro project was built in 1973 in Spain’s Galicia Region.

Under a build-operate-transfer agreement, Union Fenosa is to operate the plant for 20 years, then turn it over to ICE. Fenosa registered the project in March with the United Nations-backed Clean Development Mechanism so the project can generate and sell carbon emissions reduction certificates.

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