Edelca: Caruachi to start full operations in Mar

Monday, February 6, 2006

Venezuela's state-owned hydroelectric generation firm Edelca expects its 2,196MW Caruachi hydroelectric project will be operating at full capacity by March, the company said in a statement.

Caruachi is the last development that can be accommodated in the lower Caroni river basin, where Edelca already operates its Guri and Macagua plants and is developing the Tocoma hydroelectric project. All four projects use water from the Guri reservoir.

Caruachi will have 12 turbines, each with a capacity to generate 190MW, according to previous BNamericas reports.

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Caruachi energy generation by will save the equivalent of 74,500 barrels of liquid fuel a day, the statement said.

By all estimates, this is the perfect time for Caruachi to come into full swing as the Guri reservoir is 36% above its maximum historical water level. Edelca has had to drain the reservoir twice since August due to heavy rains.

About 58% of the US$2bn that Caruachi cost was put up by CVG, the state holdings firm that controls Edelca. CAF, the Andean region multilateral bank, financed another 23% and the Inter American Development Bank another 19%, with a pool of five commercial banks financing the rest, Nordic Investment Bank amongst them.

Edelca generates about 70-75% of all the power consumed in Venezuela.