Pacific Hydro pre-qualifies builders for Chile’s 106-MW Chacayes

Australian developer Pacific Hydro invites applications for pre-qualification to build the 106-MW Chacayes hydroelectric project in Chile’s Cachapoal River Basin. The contract could include two additional projects totaling 284 MW. Responses are due August 30.

Pacific Hydro bought the 39.3-MW Coya hydropower plant in 2004 from government-owned copper miner Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco). At the same time, it secured exclusive water rights in the Alto Cachapoal Basin sufficient to develop another 400 MW. In 2006 it awarded a contract to Poyry Energy for engineering services to upgrade and expand Coya to 103 MW. (HNN 11/14/06)

Pacific Hydro Chile S.A. invites pre-qualification of design-build firms for Chacayes (also spelled Chicayes) upstream of Coya on the Pangal River. Work is to include final design, civil works, and supply and installation of water-to-wire equipment. Pacific Hydro said it would provide up to 40 percent equity in the project.

Prospective bidders are to enter into preliminary arrangements with one or more equipment suppliers from the following list: Andritz VA Tech Hydro, Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation, GE/IMPSA, Alstom, Litostroj, Toshiba, or Hitachi.

The project is to include intake structures, desanding bays, canal, head pond, power tunnel, and two turbine-generators totaling 106 MW.

Contract could include 98-MW Nido de Aguila, 186-MW Las Lenas

An optimization study of the Cachapoal recommended three other projects, 98-MW Nido de Aguila on the Cortaderal River, 186-MW Las Lenas on the Alto Cachapoal and Las Lenas rivers, and 78-MW Maravillas on the Cortaderal.

Although the invitation for pre-qualification is focused on the Chacayes project, Pacific Hydro said a key selection criterion is whether the design-build firm can take on the construction of Chacayes, Nido de Aguila, and Las Lenas simultaneously. Pacific Hydro said that would deliver economies of scale and commonality of equipment benefits. Expected investment for the three plants is more than US$600 million.

An optional briefing session and site visit to Chacayes is scheduled June 21. Bid documents may be obtained upon request to the address below. Applications for pre-qualification are due August 30.

Invitations to bid are to be sent to pre-qualified firms September 30, with bids due January 15, 2008.

For information, contact Rick Fletcher, Executive Manager-Hydro Projects, E-mail: or Andres Arriagada, Contracts Engineer, E-mail:; Pacific Hydro Chile S.A., Av. Isidora Goyenechea 3520, Piso 9, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile; (56) 2-5194200; Fax: (56) 2-5194241.

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