First unit of Chile’s 73-MW Quilleco starts

Russian equipment supplier Power Machines reports the start-up of the first unit of the 73-MW Quilleco hydroelectric project for Chilean utility Colbun S.A.

Power Machines said the first 36.5-MW unit would be commissioned as soon as adjustment and alignment were completed. The Russian firm received a US$20 million contract in 2005 to supply turbines, generators, and transformers for Quilleco, on Chile’s Rucue and Laja rivers in Bio Bio Province.

Power Machines’ South American marketing partner, Energ Power Ltd. of Brazil, supplied auxiliary electric and other equipment and provided assembly services to the US$70 million project. Zublin of Germany excavated a 3.2-kilometer tunnel, and carried out a powerhouse, security, and water channel contract.

Colbun’s 140-MW San Pedro undergoes environmental review

Another Colbun hydro project, 140-MW San Pedro, is being discussed this month in public environmental hearings convened by the Los Lagos regional office of Conama, the national environment commission.

Colbun last year filed for water rights approval for San Pedro, to be built on the San Pedro River in Valdivia Province of Chile’s Region X. (HNN 8/14/06) The generator hopes to bring the plant on line by 2010.

Conama Regional Director Nelson Bustos said the public has 60 days in which to comment on San Pedro for development of an environmental impact study.

The utility proposes building a dam to create a 284-hectare reservoir holding 30 million cubic meters of water. The application said no agricultural lands would be flooded.

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