Medellin energy company EPM said Monday that it is forced to sell its shares in energy company ISAGEN after alleged mismanagement and corruption got the company in trouble.
The company hopes to receive more than $465 million for its 10% share in the company, reportedly its most profitable asset.
According to newspaper El Espectador, EPM could have made $3 billion in losses in the disastrous construction of the Hidroituango dam.
EPM announced that it would be selling its Isagen shares when it got into financial trouble last year, but said it would try to hold on to its most profitable assets.
But ongoing woes at what would be Colombia’s largest hydro-electric dam if EPM is able to finish the project have forced EPM to put the shares back on the market.
Medellin’s public utilities company, which is run by a personal friend of Mayor Federico Gutierrez, came into trouble in May last year when it lost control over the dam.
For reasons unknown, two water discharge channels that were meant to maintain the level of water in the reservoir were blocked and the company was forced to discharge water through the turbine chamber tunnel to avoid the flooding of the dam.
The project and downstream towns have been on red alert since as erosion caused by the provisional solution and a sink hole found in the mountain sustaining the dam could trigger the entire project to collapse.
Following the disaster, engineers rushed to finish building the dam wall, allowing the company to shut the turbine chamber tunnel and allow water from the reservoir to be channeled through the planned spillway.
Two former EPM executives have been charged over alleged corruption during the construction process while multiple others are being investigated.
The city of Medellin, which largely depends on EPM’s revenue to pay for its expenses, has been forced to cut spending as a consequence of the ongoing irregularities of its public utilities company.