Five groups express interest in Argentina’s 478-MW Chihuido 1

(Jun 3, 2009) Argentina’s Neuquen Province reports five groups submitted expressions of interest in construction of the 478-MW Chihuido 1 hydroelectric project on the province’s Neuquen River.

Neuquen last year invited bidders to pre-qualify to finance and implement: project planning and design; environmental impact studies; construction of civil works; supply and installation of hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical equipment; construction of transmission lines; and operation and maintenance. (HydroWorld 6/25/08) Bids are to be opened in July.

Business News Americas identified the prospective bidders as Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona (IMPSA) and four consortia comprising IECSA, Pampa Energia, and Camargo Correa; Electroingenieria, Construtora OAS and Hidrocuyo; Roggio, Corsan, Coviam, Esuco, and Duke Energy; and Jose Cartellone Construcciones Civiles and Odebrecht.

Featuring three vertical-axis Francis turbine-generators, Chihuido 1 is expected to generate 1,750 gigawatt-hours annually. The project’s 17,000-hectare reservoir also is to reduce flooding and guarantee water for consumption, irrigation, and industry.

The province said construction is expected to require three to four years at a cost between US$900 million and US$1 billion. The winning bidder is to build, finance, operate, and maintain the multi-purpose project.

Province creates hydroelectric company

Neuquen Gov. Jorge Sapag signed a decree May 26, 2009, creating Emprendimientos Hidroelectricos Sociedad del Estado Provincial (Emhidro), a hydroelectric projects company to promote, assess, and inspect proposed multi-purpose hydroelectric projects including Chihuido 1 and the 228-MW Chihuido 2 project. A concession for Chihuido 2 was awarded to Argentine consortium IMPSA-Lagarde in 2003.

In addition to supervising Chihuido 1 tendering, Emhidro is to manage the financing of investment in multi-purpose hydroelectric projects of interest to Neuquen and to promote, nationally and internationally, the opportunities in Neuquen for hydro development work.

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