Hydroelectric Plants in Guatemala

Chixoy
Location: Alta Verapaz
Operator: Empresa de Generacion de Energia Electrica del INDE
Configuration: 5 X 60 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1983-1986
T/G supplier: Sulzer Escher Wyss
EPC: Lahmeyer, Motor Columbus, International Engineering, Cogefar
Quick facts: Construction on the dam started in 1975 with funding from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Extensive redesign work was needed to upgrade seismic qualifications for the dam and tunneling works and project came in substantially over-budget. The local resettlement effort was poorly handled and resulted in claims that are not yet settled 20yrs after the power project went into operation.

Photograph courtesy of Washington Office on Latin America
Posted 14 May 2006

El Canada
Location: Quetzaltenango
Operator: Generadora del Occidente SA
Configuration: 2 X 22 MW Pelton
Operation: 2005
T/G supplier: GE
EPC: Acres International, Solel Boneh
Quick facts: This plant is on the Rio Samala in Zunil, Quetzaltenango department, 100km west of Guatemala City. The plant owner is a subsidiary of Enel Latin America. In addition to the T/G sets, GE supplied two substations, a 4km overhead transmission line, and training services. Equipment was manufactured in Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Norway, and Spain. ENEL signed a 21yr CDM emissions credit agreement covering 144,000 tons/yr of CO2 for the new plant. The scheme includes a small rubber diversion dam, flushing structure, desander, 1.2km tunnel, a small peaking reservoir, penstock intake structure, and a 2.4km buried steel penstock. The plant has a gross head of 395m.

Photograph courtesy of Acres International
Posted 17 May 2006

Jorge Galvez Freund
Location: Alta Verapaz
Operator: Hidroelectrica Secacao SA
Configuration: 1 X 16.5 MW Pelton
Operation: 1998
T/G supplier: Bouvier, GEC-Alstom
EPC: Voest, EES Consulting
Quick facts: Hidrosecacao was formed in 1996 by a group of private investors to invest in Guatemala's re-structured power sector. The Freund plant is a run-of-river power station on the Rio Trece Aguas 80km from Coban. It is connected to the INDE grid by a 72km, 69kV transmission line to the San Julien Substation. Output is about 101 GWh/yr. Design water flow is 3.6m3/sec with a head of 524m. The high-pressure penstock has a length of 2,395m. Construction took 18mos.

Photograph courtesy of Hidroelectrica Secacao SA
Posted 17 Jun 2006

Las Vacas
Location: Guatemala
Operator: Fabrigas SA
Configuration: 2 X 20 MW, 1 X 5 MW Pelton
Operation: 2002-2003
T/G supplier: VA TECH
EPC: Ghella Sogene
Quick facts: This project is at a reservoir on the Rio Las Vacas. An average of 120 GWh/yr is sold under a PPA with COMEGSA. An 18 km transmission line connects the plant to the Ciudad Quetzal substation in Guatemala City. The project included a plastics recycling plant to deal with floating plastic waste that accumulates at the plant dam, a sludge storage area, and a reforestation program. The 139m concrete gravity dam built for Las Vacas has a crest length of 136m. A 4.5km intake tunnel runs to two 750m, parallel steel penstocks.

Photograph courtesy of Fabrigas SA
Posted 7 Aug 2011

Montecristo
Location: Quetzaltenango
Operator: Enel Lartin America
Configuration: 2 X 6.7 MW Francis
Operation: 2007
T/G supplier: VA TECH
EPC: Solel Boneh
Quick facts: Montecristo was built at the end of the tailrace canal of El Canadá tailrace canal and is operated remotely from the upstream powerhouse. Commercial operation began in Jul 2007. The plant is grid-connected at 69kV and supplies about 52 GWh/yr.

Photograph courtesy of Enel SpA
Posted 17 Jun 2006

Renace-II
Location: Alta Verapaz
Operator: Recursos Naturales y Celulosas SA (Renace)
Configuration: 4 X 30 MW Pelton
Operation: 2014
T/G supplier: Andritz, Alconza
EPC: Cobra
Quick facts: This HPP is on the Rio Cahabón. Renace is part of Corporación Multinversiones. Renace-II has a gross head of 335m.

font face="Arial" size="1">Photograph by Grupo Cobra
Posted 31 May 2014

 
San Isidro
Location: Baja Verapax
Operator: Enel Lartin America
Configuration: 2 X 1.96 MW Pelton
Operation: 2002
T/G supplier: Sulzer, Alstom
EPC: ESBI
Quick facts: This run-of-river facility is 150km north of Guatemala City. It was built at the end of the 2.2km Chilasco water transfer channel, first opened in 1967 to divert water from the Rio Chilasco River to San Isidro to support irrigation efforts in Salama. The scheme has a 697m low-pressure pipeline, a 450m tunnel and a 1,410m high-pressure penstock to a ground-level powerhouse. San Isidro is connected via a 9km secondary transmission line to the Matanzas Substation. Construction began on 15 Jan 2001 and the facility went commercial on 17 Jul 2002.

Photograph courtesy of Enel SpA
Posted 20 Nov 2010

Xacbal
Location: Quiche
Operator: Grupo Terra
Configuration: 2 X 47 MW Francis
Operation: 2010
T/G supplier: Voith Siemens
EPC: Groupe RSW, Solel Boneh
Quick facts: RBTT Merchant Bank acted as lead arranger and lender of a $182mn syndicated loan for Hidro Xacbal. Also participating in plant financing were FMO, BCIE, CABEI, and Banco G&T Continental. Tthe total investment was around $250mn. Construction started in early 2007 and the plant was connected on 24 May 2010. Xacbal is the second largest hydro plant in Guatemala and was opened by by President Alvaro Colom and Freddy Nasser, CEO of Terra Group, on 10 Aug 2020. It connects to the grid via a 130km tie-line to Quetzaltenango.

Photograph courtesy of CGN Buenas Noticias de Guatemala
Posted 6 Mar 2010

Abbreviations

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

Updated 31-May-2014

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