Mexico’s ICA to bid to build 750-MW La Yesca

Mexican builder Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA) says it will bid in September to build the 750-MW La Yesca hydroelectric project on the Santiago River.

ICA Vice President for Finances Jose Luis Guerrero said the US$800 million hydroelectric plant — among the largest projects of President Vicente Fox’s six-year term — is among several contracts the company hopes to win this year.

“September and October are going to be very busy months, and probably November as well,” Guerrero said in a conference call with analysts. “There are several bids we are preparing. One of them is La Yesca.”

Mexico’s Comision Federal de Electricidad seeks bids by September 28 for civil, electro-mechanical, and associated work. To be located at Hostotipaquillo in Jalisco State, La Yesca is to include a 210-meter-tall concrete-faced rockfill dam, a basin of 12 million cubic meters, and an underground powerhouse containing two 375-MW turbine-generators.

In addition to presenting its offer for La Yesca on September 28, Guerrero said ICA is preparing bids for multi-million-dollar highway construction projects, for a hydroelectric plant in Venezuela, and other projects.

“We think ICA should be able to win projects worth more than $1.3 billion in the next six months,” Merrill Lynch said in a recent report on ICA, Mexico’s largest construction firm.

The builder is negotiating with the Fox administration to speed up payment for the first phase of the 750-MW El Cajon hydroelectric project — which is close to completion 40 miles upstream of La Yesca in Nayarit State — before a new government takes office in December.

ICA hopes to receive US$500 million, or 60 percent of the total cost of El Cajon, in November and the remaining 40 percent in February, Guerrero said.

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