Ituango Update: Work on project may be under control by October

Empresas Publicas de Medellin may have control of the recovery work for the 2.4-GW Ituango hydro project by October 2018, allowing it to move forward with completion of this project in three years.

Additionally, EPM released a statement June 29 that said, “The National Authority of Environmental Licenses – ANLA – … maintains the environmental license in force, prioritizes the execution of works related to overcoming the contingency, and temporarily suspends regular activities not related to the attention of the same.”

EPM says this means it must continue to carry out the actions it has been executing and this administrative act will be valid until an expert issues an opinion on the current and future stability conditions of the infrastructure of the main works.

On June 23, Ivan Duque, president-elect of Colombia, visited the Ituango project, accompanied by the governor of Antioquia, the mayor in charge of Medellin, and the general manager of EPM. Calling Ituango “the most important electricity generation project in the history of this country,” Duque said it is a project in which all Colombians should unit in a voice of solidarity and expressed the desire to be able to move forward.

Three works fronts have been established as priorities to achieve control of the project, mitigate risks for the population downstream of the dam, and advance the works required so the project can generate electricity in an estimated period of three years.

During this visit, EPM General Manager Jorge Lodono De la Cuesta said the company expects to have control of the project by October, allowing it to begin with recovery of the work. Ituango represents 17% of the installed power Colombia will have in the coming years, he said.

The Insurance Insider said recently that the claims for losses from damage to this dam could exceed $1 billion.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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