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Colombian company EPM Ituango, created to manage the development of the 2.4GW Ituango hydro, has approved 690bn pesos (US$377mn) in financing for the project during 2011, parent company EPM said in a statement.
The funds will be used to initiate major contracts related to the project including diversion of the Cauca river, an audit of works and temporary housing for site workers.
Proceeds from this capitalization process will go toward the first stage of construction, but additional funds will be needed to complete the project, head of EPM Ituango Luis Javier Vélez Duque said in the statement.
EPM Ituango is a special purpose vehicle created by Hidroituango, a joint venture company comprised of multi-utility EPM and Antioquia department's government.
The financing was approved at EPM Ituango's extraordinary meeting of shareholders, where the participants also agreed on share placing guidelines and approved board members.
The Hidroituango dam will use eight turbines and be the largest hydroelectric plant in the country. Investment in the project is slated to reach US$2.8bn.