Ten cos eye 181MW Xalalá hydro project

Friday, November 16, 2007

Four firms have purchased bidding rules to date from Guatemala's state power company Inde to develop the 181MW Xalalá hydro project, an Inde hydroelectric projects promotion official told BNamericas.

Another two companies are purchasing bidding rules and talks have been held with another four, the official said. Inde launched bidding in September and rules are available through December 7.

Although the names of the potential bidders were not released, all are international and some have a local subsidiary, the official said.

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The winner will have 24 months to carry out technical, social, environmental, economic, financial and legal studies to determine feasibility. The same company would build Xalalá if the project proves feasible and operate and maintain the plant for an initial 30 years.

Xalalá would be built on the Chixoy river in Baja Verapaz department and generate 886GWh/y. Xalalá will boast an 82m-high dam and the reservoir will cover 7.5km2.

Offers are due March 31, with economic bids due to be opened on April 15 and the winner announced on April 30. Contract signing is slated for May 15 at the latest.

President-elect Álvaro Colom has expressed interest in continuing the project's development, the official said. Colom takes over from President Óscar Berger in January.