El Quimbo works continue despite government ruling - Emgesa

Friday, June 17, 2011

Colombian generator Emgesa will continue with development of its 400MW El Quimbo hydro plant in Huila department despite a government ruling against the project, a company spokesperson told BNamericas.

"We have to carry out several preventative measures, which we will start immediately. We will have to make a few changes to activities, however construction will continue as normal, and in no case will it mean that the project is suspended," the spokesperson said.

The environment ministry earlier this month ordered Emgesa to temporarily halt land purchases for the project after protests by local communities.

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According to local press reports, many residents feel the project will harm the region's economy. Emgesa now will have to satisfy certain compensation requirements established by the government to see the suspension lifted.

"There have been a few days of protests by some of the local communities. However these protests have been lifted and the project continues to advance in construction, as we carry out these preventative measures," the official added.

El Quimbo will generate 2.22TWh/y when completed, with construction of the plant and its two dams expected to take four years. Emgesa is investing US$840mn in the project that includes the costs of relocating 450 families and reforesting 11,000ha.

Spanish power giant Endesa controls Emgesa through its Enersis subsidiary.