Ecuador’s hydropower helped by Chinese investment
The Coca Codo Sinclair (CCS) hydroelectric facility in Ecuador, the largest hydropower plant overseas in which China has invested, has provided nearly 40 percent of Ecuador’s electricity demand.
CCS, which was built by the Power Construction Corp of China (PCCC), went into operation in April. It is the largest energy project in Ecuador’s history with total investment of $2.3 billion and 1.5 million kilowatts’ installed capacity. The power plant’s annual generation stands at 8.8 billion kilowatt hours.
So far, CCS has saved $150 million for Ecuador. When it goes into full operation, it is able to save $600 million every year for the country.
Part of the electricity also can be exported to Columbia. The value of that export this year is estimated at $40 million.
Launched in 2010, the project has created around 7,000 jobs for the local area.
CCS has been a great challenge for PCCC, said Zi Jiquan, general manager of the CCS project.
“The main parts of the power plant are distributed along 80 kilometers of rain forest. The materials and engineers have to be gathered from China and the rest of the world. As the first foray into the South American market, the project has been quite a daunting task for our company,” said Zi.
“However, if we want to go global, we must adopt international standards,” Zi added.
South America uses construction standards in Western countries, which are quite different from Chinese standards, according to Wang Tingyi, technological assistant of the project.
“Our partners in Ecuador pay a lot of attention to the implementation on the scene and statistics. Each step must be carried out in line with what is said on the regulation. The test results also must be the same with the design,” said Wang.
In an interview with Hong Kong media in July, Ecuador President Rafael Correa said that China is an important investment source for his country.
China’s investment has helped Ecuador to overcome fiscal deficit and continue infrastructure construction, including hydropower plants, expressways and various public facilities, said Correa.
The construction site of the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric facility in Ecuador.