El Salvador breaks ground for 65.7-MW El Chaparral

El Salvador President Elias Antonio Saca and President Nicolas Salume of utility Comision Ejecutiva Hidroelectrica del Rio Lempa (CEL) participated in a ground breaking ceremony for construction of the 65.7-MW El Chaparral hydroelectric project on El Salvador’s Torola river.

CEL said September 30 the project requires an investment of US$219.9 million, financed by a credit from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and independent funds.

Astaldi S.p.A. of Italy was named winning bidder for turnkey construction of El Chaparral, including a roller-compacted-concrete dam, reservoir, and powerhouse containing two Francis turbine-generators. (HNN 3/13/08) Construction is expected to require 50 months.

CEL Project Coordinator Jaime Contreras said CEL is pursuing other projects, including continued activity related to the 260-MW El Cimarron hydroelectric project on the upper Lempa River. CEL is expected to seek bids to build the US$455 million project. (HNN 3/3/08)

Contreras said CEL also is fulfilling studies of 704-MW El Tigre Dam, proposed for construction on the border with Honduras (HNN 5/22/06), and a 138-MW hydropower complex to be developed on the Paz River with Guatemala. (HNN 2/15/07)

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