Peruvian legislators make push for 750-MW Santa Maria hydropower project

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Members of Peru’s Fuerza Popular party have introduced a bill asking the government to declare the 750-MW Santa Maria hydroelectric project to be one of public necessity.

The group, which holds a 73-to-130 majority in Peru‘s congress, argues that the proposal is of national interest and would serve as a catalyst for the country’s economic and social development.

If constructed, the US$1.6 billion plant would create more than 14,000 jobs, according to Fuerza Popular, over a five-year period.

Santa Maria is being developed by Peruvian utility Energia Azul, which signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Gezhouba Group in March 2012 to advance development of the project.

At that time, the project was reported as including a 137-meter-high dam wall, a 515 cubic meter reservoir, a 29-kilometer diversion tunnel and four Pelton turbine-generator units.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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