Costa Rica

ICE to award Diquís basic design contract this month

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Costa Rica's state power company ICE aims to award the basic design contract for the 631MW El Diquís hydro project this month, a project official told BNamericas. The basic design should be completed by year-end, the official said. And in May, Diquís' EIS should be awarded, with the goal of having the environmental license in April next year, the official added. The 179m-high dam will be built on the General Superior river near the town of Buenos Aires in Puntarenas province. The project will cost US$979mn and water will flow through a 13.2km tunnel to the machine house. Construction would begin once the environmental license is obtained. The priority will be the diversion of the river, which should be completed in December 2011 and will allow construction of the dam and spillway to begin. In the case of the water transport works, the official said one option under evaluation is the use of a tunnel boring machine. Should this technology be selected, a call for bids would be issued this year. The other option would entail conventional methods such as drill and blast, in which case ICE would directly handle the work. Meanwhile, excavation work for the generation component is due to begin in 2012, with civil works and the installation of electromechanical equipment slated to begin in early 2014, the official added. Bidding for the electromechanical equipment would probably begin next year, with works to be carried out by ICE. The state company has penciled in 2016 as the start of operations for Diquís.

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