EIS tender documents posted for Ecuador’s 312.6-MW Sopladora

Hydro generator Hidropaute S.A has issued terms of reference in preparation for soliciting an environmental impact statement for the 312.6-MW Sopladora hydroelectric project, to be built on Ecuador’s Paute River.

Power regulator Consejo Nacional de Electrificacion (Conelec) granted a concession certificate to Hidropaute on March 2, giving the generator the exclusive right for construction and operation of the hydro project.

Ecuador’s Ministerio de Energia y Minas said Hidropaute and Conelec are expected to sign a specific concession contract April 12, defining the terms for construction, operation, and the amounts of guarantees for fulfillment of project obligations.

The ministry said Conelec has approved the terms of reference for performance of an updated environmental impact statement, which are available on Hidropaute’s Internet site. Once the environment ministry, Ministerio del Ambiente, gives its approval, Hidropaute plans to seek bids to perform the EIS.

Solicitation for definitive design expected

The generator also plans to seek bids for definitive design of the project. Based on advance feasibility studies of the project, carried out in 1992 by Ecuador’s former electrification agency, Inecel, Hidropaute is preparing terms of reference for the definitive design.

The energy and mines ministry said completion of definitive design could result in the project’s installed capacity being increased to 400 MW.

The project is to have no dam, but is to utilize water discharged by the 1,075-MW Paute project, which Hidropaute operates. The ministry said, together with the 162.6-MW Mazar project that Hidropaute is developing, the projects will optimize use of the Paute River’s hydro potential. (HNN 1/18/07)

The Ministerio de Energia y Minas said it has worked with Hidropaute and development agency Corporacion Andina de Fomento to structure alternatives that will allow financing of Sopladora, reflecting a change in management of the Ecuador power sector.

Terms of reference for performing the Sopladora environmental impact statement are on Hidropaute’s Internet site at
www.hidropaute.com/descargas/TERMINOS_REFERENCIA_SOPLADORA.pdf.

For information, contact Hidropaute S.A., Panamericana Norte Km 7, Sector Capulispamba, Cuenca, Ecuador; PBX: (593) 7-2875191; Fax: (593) 7-2875556; E-mail: informacion@hidropaute.com; Internet: www.hidropaute.com.

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