Hydroelectric Plants in Colombia

Alto Anchicaya
Location: Valle de Cauca
Operator: Empresa de Energia del Pacifico SA (EPSA)
Configuration: 2 X 125 MW, 1 X 115 MW Francis
Operation: 1973
T/G supplier: Canadian General Electric
EPC: ICA
Quick facts: This dam 85km west of Cali is in Los Farallones de Cali national park. In Nov 2000, Union Fenosa took over operational control of EPSA.

Photograph courtesy of Union Fenosa
Posted 20 Aug 2008

Betania
Location: Huila
Operator: EMGESA SA
Configuration: 3 X 180 MW Francis
Operation: 1987
T/G supplier: Riva, Ansaldo
EPC: Ansaldo, Ingendesa, Consorcio Impregilo-Estruco-Pinski-GIE
Quick facts: This is a 100m earthfill dam. The merger of the Betania operating company with EMGESA was approved in Aug 2007.

Photograph courtesy of EMGESA SA
Posted 17 May 2008

Guavio
Location: Cundinamarca
Operator: EMGESA SA
Configuration: 5 X 230 MW Pelton
Operation: 1992-1994
T/G supplier: Escher Wyss, Canadian General Electric
EPC: ICA, SPIE, Vianini Lavori, Ingetec, Skansa
Quick facts: This rockfill dam is the tallest in South America and 10th tallest in the world at 245m. Work started in 1981 but construction issues and a major landslide in 1983 delayed the project substantially and raised the price tag to over $2bn. The project includes a 14.8km, variable diameter headrace tunnel (8.9m to 7.8m) which operates under a maximum head of 1,100m, one of the highest in the world. The underground powerhouse was excavated 600m below the surface in sedimentary rock.

Photograph copyright by and courtesy of VA TECH
Posted 24 May 2003

La Herradura
Location: Antioquia
Operator: Empresas Publicas de Medellin ESP
Configuration: 2 X 9.8 MW Francis
Operation: 2004
T/G supplier: Uralhydromash
EPC: Esgem World WIde Corp, Arquitectos e Ingenieros Asociados, Energomash
Quick facts: In February 2002, construction got underway on two PM small hydro projects in the Rio La Herradura basin in northwestern Antioquia. La Herradura completed in Oct 2004. The plants are connected to Chorodo Substation at 44kV.

Photograph courtesy of Empresas Publicas de Medellin ESP
Posted 30 Mar 2011

La Insula
Location: Caldas
Operator: Central Hidroelectrica de Caldas SA ESP
Configuration: 3 X 6.3 MW Francis
Operation: 1949-1979
T/G supplier: BLH, GE, Neyrpic, Melco
EPC: Christiani & Nielsen
Quick facts: This is the first of CHEC's three cascade stations using waters from thr Río Chinchina and Rio Campoalegre, finally dlowing into th e Río Cauca. At the beginning of 2011, Andritz was contracted for a new runner for La Insula.

Photograph courtesy of Central Hidroelectrica de Caldas SA ESP
Posted 1 Sep 2012

La Vuelta
Location: Antioquia
Operator: Empresas Publicas de Medellin ESP
Configuration: 1 X 11.8 MW Pelton
Operation: 2004
T/G supplier: Uralhydromash
EPC: Esgem World WIde Corp, Arquitectos e Ingenieros Asociados, Energomash
Quick facts: In February 2002, construction got underway on two PM small hydro projects in the Rio La Herradura basin in northwestern Antioquia. La Vuelta completed in Dec 2004. The plants are connected to Chorodo Substation at 44kV.

Photograph courtesy of julianvelez1 (skyscrapercity.com)
Posted 30 Mar 2011

Las Playas
Location: Antioquia
Operator: Empresas Publicas de Medellin ESP
Configuration: 3 X 68 MW Francis
Operation: 1988
T/G supplier: Voest, Koncar
EPC: Hazama, Mendes Junior, Techint, Conconcreto
Quick facts: This project on the Rio Guatapé in San Carlos and San Rafael municipalities, 160km east of Medellin. Commercial operation was on 25 Feb 1988. Also known as J Emilio Valderrama.

Photograph courtesy of Empresas Publicas de Medellin
Posted 16 Apr 2011

Miel
Location: Caldas
Operator: Isagen SA
Configuration: 3 X 125 MW Francis
Operation: 2002
T/G supplier: Kvaerner, ABB
EPC: ABB, Groupo Mexicano de Desarrollo, HMV, Kvaerner, Odebrecht
Quick facts: At 188m, this was the tallest RCC dam in the world at completion. The plant cost $430mn.

Photograph courtesy of HMV Engineers Ltda
Posted 27 Mar 2004

Piedras Blancas Rebuild
Location: Antioquia
Operator: Empresas Publicas de Medellin ESP
Configuration: 1 X 10 MW Francis
Operation: 1958
T/G supplier: ??
Quick facts: The Piedras Blanca hydroelectric plant in La Tablaza was first established in 1921/22 to run the tram lines in Medellin and supply Santa Elena. The original three 500-kW sets were put out of service in 1952 y damage to the prssure puipe. The site was completely rebuilt and a single new unit added in 1958. The dam in was rehabilitated in 1992/95 by Sedic.

Photograph courtesy of Empresas Publicas de Medellin
Posted 13 Apr 2011

Porce-II
Location: Antioquia
Operator: Empresas Publicas de Medellin ESP
Configuration: 3 X 142 MW Francis
Operation: 2001
T/G supplier: Neyrpic, Mecanica de la Pena
EPC: EPM, Dragados, Conconcreto
Quick facts: Porce-II hydroelectric plant is located in northeastern Antioquia department about 120km from Medellin. The RCC dam is 118m high and 455m long at the crest and forms an 890ha reservoir on the Rio Porce. The underground powerhouse operates with a gross head of 240 MW. A 230kV substation serves the plant. Annual generation is about 1,600 GWh.

Photograph courtesy of Empresas Publicas de Medellin
Posted 13 Apr 2011

Porce-III
Location: Antioquia
Operator: Empresas Publicas de Medellin ESP
Configuration: 4 X 211 MW Francis
Operation: 2010-2011
T/G supplier: Impsa, Toshiba
EPC: Ingetec, Klohn Crippen, Camargo, Conconcreto, Coninsa
Quick facts: The Porce-III project is in the municipalities of Amalfi, Guadalupe Gómez Plata, and Anorí Plata 147km northeast of Medellin. The site was first evaluated between 1974 and 1976 by Consultores Técnicos, In 1984, Ascón Ltd completed the lead feasibility report and this was extensively updated in 1986 by a consortium of Ingetec SA, Hidramsa, and CCC. In 2001, the EIS was updated again and in Jan 2002, Ingetec SA and Klohn Crippen Consultants Ltd were hired to do the detailed design. In Sep 2006, a $1.5bn EPC contract was awarded for the plant, which went into full operation in Feb 2011. Photo is ca Nov 2009. The dam is 151m tall with a crest length of 426m.

Photograph by carreteras (Panoramio)
Posted 26 Feb 2011

Riogrande
Location: Antioquia
Operator: Empresas Publicas de Medellin ESP
Configuration: 3 X 25 MW Francis
Operation: 1951-1956
T/G supplier: Pelton Water Wheel Co
Quick facts: Riogrande is northwest of Medellin near Don Matias. It is a multipurpose project that primarily serves the city's water storage and delivery system. Two of the three units at the Riogrande plant were taken offline in 2003. The hydro plant was originally known as Mocorongo.

Photograph courtesy of Empresas Publicas de Medellin
Posted 16 Apr 2011

La Tasajera
Location: Antioquia
Operator: Empresas Publicas de Medellin ESP
Configuration: 3 X 105 MW Pelton
Operation: 1993-1994
T/G supplier: Neyrpic, Ansaldo
Quick facts: In Jul 2010, EPM awarded IMPSA a contract to Rehabilitate La Tasajera. The site is Barbosa district, northern Valle del Aburrá.

Photograph by alejandravalencia87 (Picasa)
Posted 6 Apr 2011

San Francisco
Location: Caldas
Operator: Central Hidroelectrica de Caldas SA ESP
Configuration: 3 X 45 MW Francis
Operation: 1969
T/G supplier: Charmilles, Melco
EPC: Christiani & Nielsen
Quick facts: This is the final CHEC's cascade PLANT on the Rio San Francisco. It is connected at 115kV to the Esmeralda Substation.

Photograph courtesy of Central Hidroelectrica de Caldas SA ESP
Posted 1 Sep 2012

Sogamoso
Location: Santander
Operator: ISAGEN SA ESP
Configuration: 3 X 273 MW Francis
Operation: 2014
T/G supplier: Andtiz, Toshiba
EPC: Impregilo, Conalvias, Tecnica Vial, Ingetec
Quick facts: In Dec 2009, Isagen awarded an Impreglio-led consortium a $501mn EPC contract for the Sogamoso project in the La Paz Mountains. The project includes a 190m tall, 300m long dam with an underground power house. In Feb 2010, Isagen signed an $83.9mn contract with Andritz for the turbines plus a $76.7mn contract with a consortium of Mitsui & Co and Toshiba for the generators. Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) approved a $140mn loan to assist with financing and Isagen also secured a credit worth up to P1.54tn with a group of 10 local banks led by Bancolombia. The project’s total cost is estimated at $1.74bn.

Photograph courtesy of Salini Impregilo
Posted 10 Aug 2013

   
Urrá
Location: Antioquia
Operator: Empresas Urrá SA ESP
Configuration: 4 X 85 MW Francis
Operation: 2000
T/G supplier: LMZ, Electrosila
EPC: HPI, Skansa, Conciviles
Quick facts: Urrá, also known as Alto Sinu, is on the Rio Sinu, 50km south of Tierralta municipality. Construction started in Jul 1993 and Unit-1 went commercial on 15 Feb 2000. The main dam height was raised in a project completing in Dec 2009. Average production is of 1,421 GWh/yr. The reservoir is 7,740ha.

Photograph courtesy of Empresas Urrá SA ESP
Posted 30 Mar 2011

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 10-Aug-2013

Home