Spain utility wins contract to develop Costa Rica’s 50-MW Torito

Costa Rica national utility Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) has awarded a contract to Spain’s Union Fenosa to develop the 50-MW Torito hydroelectric project on a build-operate-transfer basis.

Fenosa said March 19 it received a concession to operate the project for 20 years, the first three of which will be required to build the project on the Reventazon River in northeastern Costa Rica. ICE is to buy project electricity under a power purchase agreement.

The power station is to house two 25-MW turbine-generators operating with flows of 130 cms and a maximum head of 56.3 meters. The project includes a 2.6-kilometer tunnel of 6.5 meters in diameter.

Torito is to reuse water discharged from the 180-MW Angostura hydroelectric project, upstream on the Reventazon.

Fenosa said Torito will contribute to Costa Rica’s priorities of sustainable development, providing environmental, social, and economic benefits for the project area and the country in general.

Fenosa said the Torito project is similar to its 50-MW La Joya project, which was inaugurated by Costa Rica President Oscar Arias Sanchez in June 2007. (HNN 6/21/07) La Joya, which has three turbine-generators, was built on the Reventazon for 80 million euros (US$107 million). La Joya has been registered under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism to generate and sell carbon emissions reduction credits.

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