Business / Industries

Ecuador's largest hydro plant built by China inaugurated

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-14 13:27

QUITO - Ecuador's largest hydroelectric plant, built by a Chinese consortium, was inaugurated on Wednesday.

Ecuador's Vice-President Jorge Glas started the first four of the eight turbines in total at the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant, built by Sinohydro Corporation at a meeting point of the Napo and Sucumbios provinces in the Amazon in northeast Ecuador.

"This project represents a lot. It will begin to deliver energy to the national grid and will provide the country with ample renewable energy," said Glas at the inauguration ceremony.

The project, which is now 95 percent ready, aims to convert Ecuador into a clean energy exporter in the medium term.

The four turbines, if full activated, are capable of producing 750 megawatts of electricity, with some of its power possibly made available to neighboring Colombia.

"The same energy will arrive at our brother nation, Colombia, as Ecuador is changing into an exporter of energy," said Glas.

The project, once fully operational, will generate 1,500 megawatts of energy and meet 30 percent of Ecuador's demand.

Ecuador's Electricity and Renewable Energy Minister Esteban Albornoz said at the ceremony that the first phase of the project will be ready once hydraulic, mechanical and electrical tests are completed.

Expected to be fully operational in August, the project will save Ecuador $600 million a year for importing fuel.

The project began construction in July 2010 at a cost of $2.24 billion. It will create 7,739 direct jobs and benefit the nearby communities through sustainable development programs.

Coca Codo Sinclair is one of seven hydroelectric plants being built in Ecuador, most of them by Chinese companies.

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