Government suspends rationing indefinitely

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ecuador's government has suspended power rationing indefinitely, announced acting power and renewable energy minister Miguel Calahorrano.

The decision was taken due to the entrance of thermo generation and good performance of existing plants, according to Calahorrano, who heads the board of sector regulator Conelec.

There has also been a slight improvement of water flow at the Paute hydroelectric plant, he added. Paute accounts for about a third of the country's power output.

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A return to rationing is "very improbable" as it would require Paute levels to drop to 25m3/s or 30m3/s, according to the official. The average flow on Tuesday was 68m3/s.

The government kicked off rationing in November to offset record low hydrology and implemented a series of measures to increase supply that included the rental of emergency generation units, power imports and an energy efficiency and savings program.