Venezuela to focus on grid improvement in 2014

Dec 17, 2013 12:00 AM

Venezuela's energy ministry MPPEE has stabilized national demand versus capacity and will focus on grid improvement next year, announced energy minister Jesse Chacón Escamillo.

Earlier this month a blackout hit more than half of Venezuela following a failure in part of national grid SEN's 765kV transmission system.

"We will start with the 765kV line - changing safety and communication systems. In the country's interior we will expand transmission and distribution to improve service," he said.

In terms of new capacity next year MPPEE plans to incorporate a 257MW unit at the Fabricio Ojeda hydro plant, and 240MW and 770MW to hydro plants Jose Antonio Páez and Simón Bolívar through upgrades and modernization.

A series of thermo plants are slated to be upgraded to combined cycle, including the Termozulia III (estimated cost US$1.4bn, expected capacity increase 180MW), India Urquía (US$300mn, 340MW) and Don Luis Zambrano (US$550mn, 180MW), a ministry release added.

The ministry also plans to add a fifth 350MW unit at the Planta Centro thermo plant.

In a separate release state power company Corpoelec reported it is testing a new 85MW unit at the Juan Bautista Arisendi (JBA) thermo plant in Nuevo Esparta state. With the new unit and other upgrades JBA is expected add 165MW of capacity to the national grid next month.

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