Almost $193 million dollars in environmental damages is to be paid by the controversial Quimbo hydroelectric plant in Colombia’s western Huila department, reported media Tuesday.
A six-month investigation by Deputy Comptroller for the environment Jorge Cruz, found serious environmental damage caused by the development of the dam, which has been the cause of repeated protests in the last year as it required the diversion of the Magdalena River and the flooding of townships and lands.
The damages listed include lack of compensation and re-forestation, no verification of standards, removal of materials and the non-recovery of wildlife. The official said that the investigation covered the environmental authorities and the private companies in charge of the project, as they had not submitted the information by due process.
The dam which is expected to be finished in four years, is projected to average a generating power of 2,216 gigawatts per year (one gigawatt roughly able to power between 750,000-100,000 homes), and supply about 4% of Colombia’s energy demand.