Wind energy in Ecuador: the first wind farm will make by Chinese companies

The first wind farm will make by Chinese companies. For the construction of four hydroelectric plants and wind power, valued around $375 million, Ecuador hire only Chinese companies. The manager in charge of the Electricity Corporation of Ecuador (Celec), Luis Ruales reported that the hydro Delsitanisagua, Quijos and Mazar Dudas, and wind farm Villonaco, also have allocated an amount of 600 million dollars for its development. That money will come out of the box in recent loans from China to the country and paid for with oil.

The four plants have a combined capacity of 200 megawatts, that is, 5% of the installed power in Ecuador. The allocation of the amount, however, is conditional on exclusive contracts with Chinese companies, said Ruales, so Ecuador proceed to open tender under special where only businesses from that country.

The process has already started with the invitation to four Chinese companies to submit bids Villonaco wind farm, located in Loja. This wind power plant will have a capacity of 15 MW with a base price of $ 36 million. Of the four companies invited, only two submitted bids: Hidrochina and Goldwind. Is still expected this week to take place award.

According to the schedules of Celec, the wind farm may be true the second half of 2012. The contract signed with the winning company will be the EPC or turnkey. That is, which will include detailed engineering designs, provision of wind turbines and civil engineering works.

A second plant in the coming days to tender will also only among Chinese companies: Delsitanisagua project of 115 MW, which will operate in Zamora. For this it has an estimated hydropower investment of 210 million dollars. However, the construction will take at least four years.

In the same vein followed Quijos hydroelectric projects (50 MW) and Mazar Dudas (20.9 MW), located in the provinces of Napo and Canar, respectively, with costs estimated by the Conelec bordering USD 129 million. They would come to operate in a range of three to five years.

For Ruben Barreno, former president of the National Electrification (Conelec), the most important part of these tenders is negotiating with appropriate costs. "Clearly the Government is not very highly regarded internationally at institutions such as the International Bank and Corporacion Andina de Fomento. The only country that is giving credit to Ecuador is China. "

Bermeo said that must be met international standards for negotiations and for the construction of power plants. Furthermore, China being the world’s second superpower, its technology must be at that level.

Moreover, Ricardo Buitrón, expert in electrical, believes that "it is not appropriate for the country depend on China to finance the implementation of these projects or construction contracts awarded directly (‘a finger’). The Government must look to various sources of financing, domestic savings or credit multilateral (…)".

By José Santamarta,