Ecuador fund approves studies of four hydro projects

The technical committee of Ecuador’s energy and hydrocarbon investment fund has approved feasibility studies of four hydroelectric projects totaling more than 2,000 MW.

Ecuador’s Ministerio de Economia y Finanzas said August 27 the technical committee of the Fondo Ecuatoriano de Inversion en los Sectores Energetico e Hidrocarburifero (FEISEH) approved the information on technical, economic, social, and environmental feasibility of the four projects.

The ministry said completion of the projects, 1,500-MW Coca Codo Sinclair, 26-MW Ocana, 162.6-MW Mazar, and 312.6-MW Sopladora, would increase Ecuador’s supply of electricity at lower cost.

The ministry said Coca Coco Sinclair, to be built on the Coca River in Napo Province of northeastern Ecuador, would have a total cost of US$1.59 billion. (HNN 6/6/07) It said FEISEH is to finance 70 percent of that amount, US$1.1 billion. The project is to begin operation in 2012, generating power at a cost of 2 cents per kWh, the government said.

The Ocana project, currently in tendering for construction in Ecuador’s Canar Province, is to cost US$44.2 million, of which 83 percent, US$36.7 million, is to be provided by FEISEH. (HNN 8/28/07) When it begins operation in 2009, it is to generate power for 4 cents/kWh, the ministry said.

An investment of US$460 million is required to continue construction of Mazar on Ecuador’s Paute River, of which FEISEH is to provide 36 percent, US$165 million. Earlier this year, developer Hidropaute S.A. awarded a turnkey contract to a consortium of Alstom Hydro Energia Brasil Ltda. and Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation Ltda. of Brazil, Siemens S.A. of Colombia, and Consorcio Santos CMI S.A. of Ecuador. (HNN 1/18/07) The ministry said Mazar is to generate power at 4 cents/kWh when complete in 2009.

Sopladora, also to be built by Hidropaute on the Paute River, is to cost 322 million, of which FEISEH is to provide 71 percent, US$228.4 million. (HNN 3/13/07) The ministry said it is to be complete in 2011, generating power for 3 cents/kWh.

Funds for FEISEH come from the sale of oil from fields the government confiscated from Occidental Petroleum Co. in 2006. Funds are used either for direct investments or for credits to developers.

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