Work progressing on Hydro Caisan's 67.2-MW El Alto hydro facility

CHIRIQUI PROVINCE, Panama 2/29/12 (PennWell) -- Panama's 67.2-MW El Alto hydroelectric plant is scheduled for completion in April 2013, sources report.

The project was nearly a quarter complete at the end of September 2011, according to owner Hydro Caisan.

The facility, in the Chiriqui province along the Chiriqui Viejo River, will include three Francis-type turbines; a 50-meter-high, 192-meter-wide dam; a 1.25 million cubic meter reservoir; a 3.24-kilometer water tunnel; and an 8-kilometer transmission line that will connect to the Siepac grid.

El Alto's contractors include Hidraulica del Alto and Constructora SELI Panama -- both of which are being supervised by Sipetrol.

Hydro Caison already holds a 10-year power purchase agreement with distributors Ensa and Edemet that will begin July 1, 2013, sources say.

The ownership group belongs to Panama Power Holdings (PPH), which also owns the 20-MW Pedregalito 1, 12.5-MW Pedregalito 2, 15.7-MW Cochea and 6-MW La Esperanza hydropower plants.

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