Venezuela to upgrade Simon Bolivar hydro project with support from IDB

Venezuela will increase power output from its largest hydroelectric complex by 795 MW through a modernization program financed with a $700 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank, the bank reported.

The project will replace six of the 20 turbogenerator units at the 10,300-MW Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant, also known as Guri. Currently the world’s third largest hydroelectric complex, Guri supplies nearly 45 percent of Venezuela’s total electricity demand.

The project, part of Venezuelan Government’s broader Guri Modernization Program, will consist of replacing rotors, regulators, generators and related equipment, along with upgrading high voltage switchyards and controls systems.

When concluded in 2016, the project will enable Guri to offer 795 MW of additional power, equivalent to more than 3 percent of Venezuela’s total electricity generation capacity. It will also extend the plant’s service life by around 25 years.

Venezuela will contribute a total of $609 million in counterpart funds to the project, whose total cost will be around $1.3 billion. The IDB loan is for 20 years, with a 6 year grace period and an interest rate based on LIBOR.

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