UPDATE – Bolivia to seek new financing to develop 120-MW Misicuni

Project developer Empresa Misicuni seeks alternative sources of financing to develop the dam of the 120-MW Misicuni multipurpose hydroelectric project in Bolivia’s Cochambamba Valley.

In September, Empresa Misicuni postponed a deadline for bids from Italian and Bolivian firms to build the 120-meter-tall dam due to lack of Italian companies interested in the work. (HNN 9/19/08) Bolivia secured funding from the Italian government in May 2007, on the condition that an Italian firm would form part of the development consortium.

Business News Americas quoted a company official saying the lack of interest by Italian companies requires the developer to seek financial support from other entities or governments. Officials estimated it would take at least another year before the project finally could be launched.

Empresa Misicuni has US$30 million to carry out the project. The Italian government is providing US$31 million, while US$7.5 million is coming from multinational lender Corporacion Andina de Fomento, US$6.5 million from the Bolivian Treasury, and US$31 million from Cochambamba Prefecture.

Empresa Misicuni had restarted stalled bidding in July after the government allowed price variations to cover materials including steel, pipe, cement, valves, controls, and prefabricated parts.

Misicuni includes a 120-meter-tall, 512-meter-long dam; a 150 million-cubic-meter reservoir; 444-meter diversion tunnel; and a water treatment plant. When complete, the project is to provide water to the Cochabamba metropolitan area and is to irrigate more than 15,000 acres, in addition to the potential to generate hydroelectric power estimated at 120 MW.

Bolivia utility Ende and South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corp. have signed an agreement to build a 120-MW hydro plant as part of Misicuni.

A Brazil-Bolivia consortium, Engevix-Caem, previously was named to provide technical supervision of the construction of the dam and related works.

For information, contact Secretaria Elizabeth Montoya, Ing. Hugo Terceros, Empresa Misicuni, Av. Tadeo Haenke 1663, Apartado Postal 5639, Cochambama, Bolivia; (591) 4-4410840; Fax: (591) 4-4410843; E-mail: proyecto@misicuni.net; Internet: www.misicuni.net.

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