IMPSA to equip Venezuela’s 2,320-MW Manuel Piar

Argentina hydro industry supplier IMPSA signed a US$520 million contract January 18 to supply 10 turbine-generators to Venezuela’s 2,320-MW Manuel Piar (Tocoma) hydroelectric project on Venezuela’s Caroni River.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez initially announced the award in Buenos Aires, disclosing a letter from IMPSA President Enrique Pescarmona. IMPSA confirmed the deal in a statement reported by Business News Americas.

The contract with Venezuela utility CVG Electrificacion del Caroni (Edelca) calls for IMPSA is to supply 10 232-MW Kaplan turbines, generators, and other equipment.

Latin lender Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) announced the signing January 17 of an 18-year US$600 million loan to help Edelca complete the US$3.06 billion project. CAF, the Andean Development Corp., originally announced the loan in April 2007. (HNN 4/17/07) It provided a previous US$300 million loan to the project in 2004.

CAF said the loan is to cover 30 percent of the US$3.06 billion project, with the remaining 70 percent financed by Edelca and other multilateral sources. The Inter-American Development Bank approved a US$750 million loan for the project in 2005.

In March 2007, 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 Minerals of Finland received a contract from Odebrecht in October to provide crushing and screening equipment for use in construction. (HNN 10/8/07)

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. Impregilo began work at the site in 2007. Construction is to be completed in 2014.

When complete, Manuel Piar will be the fourth hydropower plant in the lower Caroni River Valley, which provides 70 percent of Venezuela’s electricity.

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