Insights | Hidroituango: key to the future of Colombia

Tomado de El Tiempo


Hidroituango: key to the future of Colombia

After the controversy in recent days regarding the future of Hidroituango due to events such as the annulment of Jorge Carrillo’s appointment as manager of Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) and the decision of two of the contracting companies Coninsa Ramon H and Specifically, to benefit from a financial reorganization, it is important to highlight the importance of this work for the energy future of Colombia and, consequently, for the national economy.

According to the projections of the National Government, Hidroituango promises to be the most important work built in Colombia in terms of electricity generation, contributing 17% of the total that the country consumes. The projected cost for this mega-project is $ 4 billion, an amount that could increase significantly due to delays.

“Hidroituango is a strategic project for Colombia. The future energy security of the country depends largely on it. In addition, it is perhaps the most important engineering work in the electricity sector in the history of Colombia. Putting the execution of the project at risk, even if it is a single day, can have serious repercussions for the country, ”said President Iván Duque on October 15, making a call to act responsibly to give continuity to the work and meet the deadlines. fixed.

In the midst of the new crisis, EPM’s creditors await a date: June 2022, when the first Hidroituango turbine would generate energy. However, now with the uncertainty of a possible change of contractor, the IDB Invest (private wing of the Inter-American Development Bank) met last week with emissaries of the National Government and warned that in case that deadline is not met, EPM You will have to pay the total debt you have with the bank (450 million dollars) in less than 45 days.

In addition, experts in energy issues have warned about the possibility of an energy crisis, which includes electricity rationing with great effects on the national economy, if Hidroituango’s deadlines are not met, a situation that has been ruled out by the National Government.

There is no risk of energy shortages neither for next year nor for 2023. We have the reservoirs at historical maximums, they have been above 85%, levels that we had not seen since 1987. It is surprising that last year in the pandemic we had a drought that was extended, there was no talk of power shortages and this year that we have the reservoirs at full capacity, there are questions about this, there is no risk for either 2022 or 2023 despite the delays in Hidroituango ”, the Minister of Mines and Energy said recently Diego Mesa.

The hydroituango project is located in the northwest of the department of Antioquia, about 170 kilometers from the city of Medellín. It occupies land in the municipalities of Ituango and Briceño, where the main works are located, and in Santa Fe de Antioquia, Buriticá, Peque, Liborina, Sabanalarga, Toledo, Olaya, San Andrés de Cuerquia, Valdivia and Yarumal, which provide land for the different works of the project.

According to projections, Hidroituango will be the largest generator in the country and a highly competitive energy marketer in the national and international market.