Colombia's electric sector is well prepared for El Niño - Santos

Friday, July 25, 2014

Despite low rainfall, Colombia's hydroelectric reservoirs are at high enough levels ahead of an expected El Niño weather event, the country's President Juan Manuel Santos said in a central government press release.

El Niño typically produces hotter temperatures and lower rainfall in Colombia, which generates almost 70% of its electricity from hydroelectric plants.

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Santos attributed the steady reservoir levels to electricity firms' increased use of thermoelectric assets to preserve hydroelectric capacity.

In a separate government release, meteorological and environmental agency Ideam's director Omar Franco said El Niño's effects will be strongest in 1Q15.

Colombian generators association Acolgen's president Ángela Montoya also said the sector is well prepared for El Niño, local newspaper El Espectador reported.

By using more thermoelectric generation, Colombia's reservoir levels have risen to 72.8% in July from 43.5% in April, Montoya was quoted as saying. She also applauded the Colombian government's decision to suspend natural gas exports to Venezuela, which has increased supply in Colombia.

BNamericas will host its fourth LatAm Power Generation Summit in Santiago, Chile, on August 13-14. Click here to download the agenda.