Colombia's EPM facing Hidroituango criminal probe

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Colombia's EPM facing Hidroituango criminal probe

Colombia's Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) could face criminal charges if there are further delays to its controversial Hidroituango project, a top law enforcement official has warned.

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

“We are awaiting the commissioning of Hidroituango," attorney general Francisco Barbosa told a news conference. "In the event that it does not happen [by Wednesday], there would be possible criminal and fiscal responsibilities. The prosecutor's office is on top of this matter because it is of national importance."

EPM has said it is waiting for approval to conduct one more test at the plant in northwestern Antioquia department before it can bring the first turbine online. 

Local authorities and residents have warned the test could pose a flooding threat to communities located downstream from the plant. 

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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