Honduras sees 2009 construction start for 100-MW Patuca 3

State utility Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrica (ENEE) announced construction is to begin in October 2009 on the 100-MW Patuca 3 hydroelectric project on the Patuca River in Honduras.

Taiwan Power Co. is to design, finance, construct, and operate the US$263.9 million project on a build-operate-transfer basis. Construction is to require five years. At the end of a 25-year concession, the project, also called Piedras Amarillas, is to transfer to ENEE. (HNN 11/8/07)

The governments of Honduras and Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the project in 2006. Last year, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian told the Honduran National Congress that Taiwan would invest T$10 billion (US$303 million) to help build the project. (HNN 8/27/07)

ENEE said Sinotech Engineering Consultants recently completed a feasibility investigation of the project. It was the subject of a feasibility study several years ago by Geracom.

Patuca 3 is to have a 57-meter-tall concrete gravity dam downstream from two Patuca tributaries, the Guayape and Guayambre rivers, in eastern Honduras. The powerhouse is to have two vertical Kaplan turbines operating under a head of 43.5 meters. It is to generate 326 gigawatt-hours annually.

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