Ecuador’s hy­dropower helped by Chi­nese in­vest­ment

China Daily (USA) - - XI’S VISIT - By YANG ZIMAN in Bei­jing yangz­i­man@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

HAO YUNFU / XINHUA

The con­struc­tion site of the Coca Codo Sin­clair hy­dro­elec­tric fa­cil­ity in Ecuador.

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