Finland firm supplies equipment to build Venezuela’s 2,160-MW Manuel Piar

Metso Minerals of Finland has received a contract from Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A. to provide crushing and screening equipment for use in building the 2,160-MW Manuel Piar (Tocoma) hydroelectric project on Venezuela’s Caroni River.

Metso said it is to provide a complete crushing system including crushers, screens, vibrating feeders, and a long-distance belt conveyor, as well as erection supervision services. The Metso equipment will serve construction of Tocoma Dam, which is to be completed in 2013.

In March, utility CVG Electrificacion del Caroni (Edelca) confirmed the award of a US$970 million construction contract to a consortium including Italian construction company Impregilo SpA with 40 percent, Brazil’s Odebrecht with 45 percent, Venezuela’s Vinccler C.A. with 10 percent, and Brazil’s CBPO Engenharia Ltda. with 5 percent.

Metso said October 3 it received contracts from Odebrecht for the Manuel Piar work in Venezuela and for work in Angola that totaled 9 million euros (US$12.74 million).

In April, Corporacion Andina de Fomento approved an 18-year US$600 million loan to help Edelca complete Manuel Piar. (HNN 4/17/07) The development corporation provided a US$300 million loan to the project in 2004.

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez renamed the project Manuel Piar in 2006. It includes a 300-meter-long, 82-meter-tall concrete dam and hydropower station. When complete, it will be the fourth hydropower plant in the lower Caroni River Valley, which provides 70 percent of Venezuela’s electricity.

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