Venezuela confirms US$970 million contract to build 2,160-MW Tocoma

Utility CVG Electrificacion del Caroni (Edelca) has confirmed the award of a US$970 million contract to build the 2,160-MW Tocoma (Manuel Piar) hydroelectric project on Venezuela’s Caroni River.

In January, award of the contract was announced to a consortium including Italian construction company Impregilo SpA with 40 percent, Brazil’s Odebrecht S.A. with 45 percent, Venezuela’s Vinccler C.A. with 10 percent, and Brazil’s CBPO Engenharia Ltda. with 5 percent. (HNN 1/24/07) At that time, Impregilo said the contract was awarded provisionally after an international tender and that closing was expected soon.

Tocoma, which was renamed Manuel Piar by Venezuela President Hugo Chavez in 2006 (HNN 1/26/07), includes a 300-meter-long, 82-meter-tall concrete dam and hydropower station. Impregilo said it has begun preliminary work in preparation for dam construction. Work is to be completed in 2013.

The Inter-American Development Bank approved a US$750 million loan for the US$3 billion project in 2005. When complete, it will be the fourth hydropower plant in the lower Caroni River Valley, which provides 70 percent of Venezuela’s electricity.

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