Peru launches power-plant conversion project

Nov 27, 2009 01:00 AM

President Alan Garcia presided over a signing ceremony in which Peruvian-Israeli firm Kallpa and South Korea's Posco E&C agreed to begin converting an electrical plant south of Lima into a more efficient combined-cycle facility.
Some $ 400 mm is to be invested to turn the plant -- located in Chilca, a town 60 km (37 miles) from Lima -- into Peru's largest electricity generator with 850 MW of capacity as of 2012. The project will involve converting the plant's three turbines, which run on natural gas from the massive Camisea gas field, to more efficient combined cycle technology by building and installing a 280 MW steam turbine.

Garcia also said Peru has loads of hydroelectric potential and that "billions could be made." He added, however, that when projects are proposed there is no lack of people who oppose them, referring to critics of plans to turn Peru into an exporter of hydro-power.
The president said his country consumes 5,000 MW of electricity annually, but it has the capacity to produce 90,000 MW, enough to supply power to neighbouring countries. He said private companies should be encouraged to build dams and generate electricity for domestic consumption, but also to sell power to Ecuador, Brazil and other nations.

Peru has already agreed to sell 1,200 MWh of electricity to Ecuador through April to mitigate its neighbour's energy crisis, and has also signed agreements with Brazilian companies to build hydroelectric plants near their shared border to supply energy to both countries.
"The countries that move forward without energy, woe is them, because the more they grow, the bigger the energy gap they'll have," Garcia said, referring to the unmet energy demand in the region.

Garcia was on hand for the inauguration of a TG8 turbine at Lima's Santa Rosa Thermal Plant. The new unit will run on natural gas from Camisea and will increase the plant's capacity by 193 MW.
Garcia said the project can help Peru "provide energy to neighbouring countries" and make it an energy leader in Latin America, given that many nations of the region are suffering power cuts due to a lack of electricity output.

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