Brazilian-Venezuelan consortium OIV-Tocoma has started to build Tocoma, the last hydroelectric project in Venezuela's lower Caroni river, Venezuelan state generator Edelca said in a statement.
OIV-Tocoma signed the construction deal in a ceremony at the construction site with Edelca, which will operate the 2,160MW plant.
Multilateral lending organizations are financing nearly 75% of Tocoma despite the fact that Venezuela traditionally prefers to use debt or cash flow to finance infrastructure projects.
Specifically, the Inter-American Development Bank is financing US$750mn of the project, Edelca said. Total project costs will exceed US$3bn.
Venezuela has requested two separate loans from the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) for Tocoma totaling US$1.2bn.
The first Tocoma unit could come online by mid-2012, Edelca said.