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Colombia’s EPM eyes key Hidroituango test, scrambles to meet deadline

Bnamericas Published: Monday, November 28, 2022
Colombia’s EPM eyes key Hidroituango test, scrambles to meet deadline

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) said it is waiting for approval to conduct one more test at the long-delayed Hidroituango dam project before it can bring the first turbine online. 

The Colombian company is holding discussions with local authorities to set a date for the test amid fears it could pose a flooding threat to nearby communities. 

"The test must be carried out when an agreement is reached with the communities and authorities downstream, regarding the date and the conditions," EPM said in a regulatory filing. 

The company said that it would later conduct a "rigorous analysis" of water levels, rock mass and other variables. A similar procedure would apply for the second turbine in the following days, it added. 

"All efforts will continue to [ensure] Hidroituango's safe entry into operation," EPM said. "[We thank] all ... collaborators, who have not rested or spared any effort to start operations as soon as possible."

Under firm energy obligations signed with sector regulator Creg, EPM must be ready to start generating electricity from the plant's first two turbines by November 30. A failure to do so would leave the company facing multimillion-dollar fines.  

Originally slated to begin operating in 2018, Hidroituango has been delayed by a series of construction problems. The 2.4GW facility is expected to provide 17% of Colombia's electricity when completed.

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