Posted by Adriaan Alsema on Feb 3, 2010 Leave a comment

China, South Korea companies in race for Colombia hydropower deal

hydroelectrica, colombia, china, korea

China Three Gorges Corp. and a South Korean consortium have prequalified in a race to build Colombia’s largest hydroelectric project, the Colombia Investment Promotion Office in Hong Kong said Wednesday.

The two are among seven groups which have prequalified for the US$2.3 billion contract to build and operate the 2,400-megawatt Ituango hydroelectric power station to be built 170 kilometers north of Medellin, Colombia’s second city.

The state-owned Chinese company is the operator of the world’s largest hydroelectric scheme, the Three Gorges Dam on China’s Yangtze river.

The Korean consortium of six companies includes Korea Electric Power Corp., Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Posco Engineering & Construction Co., Lotte Engineering & Construction, SK Engineering & Construction and Daewoo Engineering Co.

Four of the prequalified firms are Brazilian, and the fifth is Colombia’s Empresas Publicas de Medellin.

The first phase of the project is due to be delivered by 2018. When complete it will account about 18% of Colombia’s total installed power capacity, the investment office said.

The winning bid is due to be announced in May 2010, with the winner getting a 20-25 year concession to build, own, operate and maintain the Ituango plant.

The project, planned for the mouth of the Ituango river, will flood a total area of 38 square kilometers and will generate 13,900 gigawatt hours per year, the investment office said.

The prequalification of China Three Gorges Corp. for the Ituango project follows news in November 2009 that Chinese state-owned dam builder Sinohydro Corp. is interested in a project to build a US$175 million reservoir in Colombia’s eastern province of Santander, the investment office said.

(Simon Hall, Dow Jones)