Probe into Hidroituango emergency 'advancing'

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) says it "has no knowledge" of studies that reportedly attribute problems at its US$4.5bn Hidroituango dam project to construction faults.

In a statement, the company said it is still awaiting results of a probe by Chilean consulting firm Skava into the cause of the crisis.

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"Skava Consulting is advancing in its analysis ... with a team of international specialists that have experience in construction and engineering in underground works," EPM said.

"When the studies and analysis of the Ituango hydroelectric project are completed, Skava Consulting will present an independent technical report on what happened at the site."

Last week EPM said Hidroituango, Colombia's largest infrastructure project in investment terms, would be delayed by at least three years after a series of landslides that prompted fears of catastrophic flooding. The facility had been expected to start generating electricity in December.

The company has announced plans to raise up to US$1.4bn from divestments, including water and wind power assets in Chile, to cover cost overruns related to the emergency, estimated at US$500mn.

Located around 170km northeast of Medellín on the Cauca river, Hidroituango is expected to supply over 17% of Colombia's electricity when fully operational with installed capacity of 2.4GW.