- The main works have already reached 66% progress
- In its social initiative, investments total over COP 1.8 billion.
- The project generates 11,098 direct jobs, as of March 21
At some 170 kilometers from Medellin, in the imposing mountains in the Northwest of Antioquia and over the waters of the Cauca river, what will be the largest hydroelectric plant in Colombia is being raised. The Ituango hydroelectric project, which will provide energy for the country's development, is steadily advancing to entry into operation in December 2018.
The project that has become span one of the icons of Colombian engineering has already reached 66% completion of its major works. Located in the areas of the Ituango and Briceño municipalities, where the power-house, dam and reservoir are being built; it also includes sectors of the municipalities of Santa Fe de Antioquia, Buritica, Peque, Liborina, Sabanalarga, Toledo, Olaya, San Andrés de Cuerquia, Yarumal and Valdivia.
That´s how the works go
The plant will have a dam with a height of 225 meters (9 meters more than the BD Bacata building, which is being constructed in Bogota and will be the highest in Colombia with 216 meters) and 20 million cubic meters of volume. In turn, the reservoir will be approximately 79 kilometers long, longer than the distance between Medellin and Rionegro, Antioquia.
Currently the dam's fill has progressed by some 54%, the excavation in the spillway is at 86%, the spillway's concrete is at 43%, the excavation of the surge tank cavern registers 100% and in concrete is at 50%, and in the power house first unit, 100% of the excavation has been completed and the concrete has reached 50%.
The Ituango hydroelectric plant will generate 2,400 megawatts with its eight turbines. Specifically, the electromechanical assembly of unit No. 4, is 20% complete. It is forecast that this year the turbine will be installed and assembly of the generator will be started for the entry into operation in December 2018.
EPM's CEO, Jorge Londoño De la Cuesta, highlighted that work at the project advances on a permanent basis, in three staggered shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. “Today we progressed in a satisfactory manner in the works and in accordance with the timetable. The most important works that are being executed are the spillway excavations and concrete, and the pressure and discharge cables; the fills of the dam and the concrete of the underground caverns. Likewise, the assembly of the hydromechanical and electromechanical equipment is progressing notoriously," said the CEO.
The Ituango hydroelectric project has become one of the major employment generators. As of March 21, 2017, 11,098 people work directly on the project. Of these, 2,657 correspond to native from thespan 12 municipalities of the area of influence, 4,626 are from other areas of the region of Antioquia, 3,801 from other regions of Colombia and 14 are foreign.
As of February 2017, in the Ituango hydroelectric project both in main works, equipment and social and environmental management, nearly COP 6 billion has been invested of the COP 11.4 billion, which will be the total execution to be performed in the framework of this mega-project.
"We work with celerity and commitment to the start of commercial operation of the plant by the end of 2018. With this project we are contributing in an important manner to the transformation of the territory, with a deep respect for the people who live there and for the environment, to contribute to the region's development and sustainability," added Jorge Londoño De La Cuesta, EPM´s CEO.