Tunneling begins at key Ecuador hydroelectric project

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A tunnel boring machine began work at Ecuador state power generation holding company Celec's 275MW hydroelectric project Minas San Francisco on the San Francisco and Jubones rivers, according to the country's strategic sectors ministry.

The TBM will excavate a 10.5km water supply tunnel for the complex in Azuay province, due online in December 2015.

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Last year, the government inked a financing contract with the China Exim Bank for the plant. Celec and Harbin Electric International signed the construction contract in 2011.

Minas San Francisco is one of eight key hydroelectric plants under development, led by flagship Coca Codo Sinclair. The other projects are Delsitanisagua, Manduriacu, Mazar Dudas, Quijos, Sopladora and Toachi Pilatón.

Ecuador's effective capacity at end-April totaled 5.1GW. Non-renewables accounted for 53.9%, hydroelectric 43.9%, biomass 1.83%, wind 0.37% and solar 0.10%.

In addition, state power distribution holding company CNEL issued consultancy calls to supply electricity to Guayaquil gulf islands and design a subs-transmission line in Los Ríos province.