First phase of Rio Macho hydropower project modernization complete

Modernizations at Costa Rica’s Rio Macho hydroelectric project will be complete by the end of 2015, electric utility Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) said after recently inaugurating the first two of five generating units.

The upgrade project will see the plant’s capacity raised from 120 MW to 140 MW, and also includes improvements and repairs to Rio Macho’s water intake system, substation, dam, and tunnels.

The modernization is being funded in large part by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which gave ICE a US$500 million loan in 2007 for an infrastructure improvement program.

HydroWorld.com reported in February 2011 that Andritz Hydro had won the contract to replace Rio Macho’s Unit 1 and 2, which were installed in 1959 and 1963.

ICE sought bids to supply transformers for Rio Macho earlier this year.

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