Minister sees Peru hydro serving South American demand

A Peruvian energy official says Peru has the potential to generate 60,000 MW of hydropower in projects that could help meet energy demand of Brazil and other South American neighbors.

Energy Vice-minister Pedro Gamio Aita addressed Club Empresarial de San Isidro February 14, saying, even with global warming, Peru is a �reserve of water for humanity,� whose eastern region includes the Amazon River Basin with a potential of 20,000 MW. He told the business group Peru currently utilizes only 5 percent of its total hydropower potential.

Gamio said one such hydro project could be developed in Valle de los Rios Apurimac y Ene — designated zone VRAE � a coca-growing region that is estranged from the modern nation. He said the benefits of a hydropower project would help create a level of important social inclusion of the region.

The vice-minister said Peru has a competitive electricity tariff due to natural gas resources and the operation of the 1,008-MW Mantaro hydropower complex, which includes the 798-MW Santiago Antunez de Mayolo and 210-MW Restitucion hydropower plants.

�But we must develop other Mantaros to assure clean, cheap, and available energy,� Gamio said.

The official said Peru will present a portfolio of small, medium, and large renewable energy projects to the Energy Working Group of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC). The working group is meeting March 3-7 in Iquitos, Peru, in connection with the APEC forum to be held in several Peruvian cities February 19-March 3.

Gamio said Peru would present a feasibility study of geothermal and wind projects as well as all hydroelectric projects of the eastern river basin of the Andes.

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