Ecuador declares 1,500-MW Coca-Codo Sinclair a priority

An official of Ecuador’s national utility declared development of the long-delayed Coca-Codo Sinclair hydroelectric project to be a national priority, providing low-cost electricity, alleviating shortages, and providing jobs.

Vice President Edgar Ponce of Ecuador’s Consejo Nacional de Electricidad (Conelec) said the country will require additional installed capacity of 3,650 MW to meet growing demand.

�This need for energy can only be satisfied if there are soon constructed great hydroelectric projects like Coca-Codo Sinclair,� Ponce said. �The execution of this project must be focused by the government as a national priority.�

The Energy and Mines Ministry currently is updating 10-year-old studies for Coca-Codo, which has been listed with capacities over the years of 660 MW, 859 MW, and 1,500 MW. The project would be built on the Coca River in Napo Province of northeastern Ecuador.

Ponce said the project would generate electricity for less than 2 cents per kWh. He said the project also is expected to provide 10,000 direct and 50,000 indirect jobs.

The ministry has declared Coca-Coco Sinclair to be priority along with the 312.6-MW Sopladora (HNN 3/13/07), 337-MW Minas Jubones, and 176-MW Chespi hydroelectric projects.

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