Explosion kills four at Ecuador's 487.8-MW Sopladora hydropower project

Ecuador Map

Four Chinese explosives experts were killed yesterday while working on an underground extension of Ecuador's 487.8-MW Sopladora hydropower project, local sources have reported.

Officials from developer Hidropaute said the technicians were killed in what appears to be an accidental explosion, though a cause is still being investigated.

HydroWorld.com reported that the government of Ecuador signed a credit agreement providing US$571 million from the China Export-Import Bank in October 2011 to build and equip the hydroelectric plant.

The project, located on the Paute River in Azuay and Morona Santiago provinces, does not include a dam, but instead uses water discharged by the 1,075-MW Paute plant.

Hidropaute said there are currently about 2,200 workers employed at the Sopladora site, including 400 Chinese. Completion is expected in 2015.

For more news from Latin America, visit here.

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