Group announces plan to rehabilitate Guyana's 1.5-MW Tumatumari small hydropower project

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A private company has announced plans to rehabilitate the long-defunct 1.5-MW Tumatumari hydropower plant, located in the country's central Potaro-Siparuni region.

The proposal would see Tumatumari Hydro Inc. modernize and possibly expand the small hydropower plant as part of the Tumatumari Industrial Development Project.

Tumatumari Hydro's director said the rehabilitation would be conducted in two phases, with the first restoring the plant to its original output capacity and constructing two 30 kilometer transmission lines, and the second expanding the plant's capacity to 3 MW.

The US$5 million overhaul will save Guyana about $40 million in fuel imports over its first decade of operation, officials said, while also creating up to 30 direct and 30 indirect jobs.

The project is located at Tumatumari Falls on the Potaro River and was Guyana's first when completed by British Guiana Consolidated Goldfields to power a gold mining operation in the 1950s. The small hydropower plant was closed amidst a worker strike in the 1960s before being put back into service by the Guyana National Service in 1976. The facility continued to operate through the late 1980s when the last of its two 750 kW Francis turbines failed.

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