The agreement includes the supply, installation, and commissioning of electromechanical equipment for the hydroelectric project that will operate in the upper basin of the Maule Region.
The energy of Los Condors will be produced by two Pelton vertical axis units, which together have an installed capacity of approximately 150 MW. The plant, with its works almost entirely underground, significantly decreases the surface area to be used, with less environmental impact on the scenery, soil, vegetation, and fauna in the area.
Endesa Chile and the German company, Voith Hydro, signed a contract for the supply, installation, and commissioning of electromechanical equipment for the Los Cóndores hydropower plant, a project under construction in the mountainous area of the Maule Region.
The plant will consist of two Pelton vertical axis generators, housed in an underground machine room, which together will reach an installed capacity of approximately 150 MW. The Los Cóndores project will have an estimated plant factor of 48% and an average annual generation of 642 GWh. With this project, Endesa Chile, an Enersis Group subsidiary, confirms its commitment to the development of the country’s electricity, providing clean, renewable, and low operating cost energy.
The contract states that Voith Hydro will be responsible for the electromechanical development, equipment engineering, manufacturing, installation, supervision, commissioning services and project management.
Voith Hydro is a company with 147 years of experience as a supplier of equipment for hydroelectric plants and, also, has a presence in Chile and Latin America. It recently participated in various power projects in the region, highlighting the high level of expertise of its technical team. The time period to carry out all civil works (which include, among others, intake, adduction tunnel, pressure pique, underground powerhouse and discharge channel) will be about five years and the plant is expected to enter into commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2018.
In this regard, the construction of civil works, assigned to the company, Ferrovial Agroman, already began with the construction of the work site facilities in the landing area, the preparation of dump sites, powder magazine, and preliminary works for setting up camps and offices in the Campanario sector. With regard to the works of the project itself, work has begun in open excavations of the tunnel portals, the construction of the cable connection yard, and prior activities to start the excavation work for the underground powerhouse, where the generating equipment will be housed.
The plant, which will use water from the Laguna del Maule reservoir, through a 12-kilometer adduction tunnel, will be excavated with tunnel boring machines.
Endesa Chile conducted a series of optimizations to the design of the works, which were approved by the environmental authorities in late 2011. The improvements modified the adduction works on the stretch between the Laguna del Maule reservoir and the Lo Aguirre Chico ravine and the works of the landing zone, becoming completely underground. These optimizations allow a considerable reduction in the surface area to be used, with less environmental impact on the scenery, soil, vegetation, and fauna in the area.
In regard to community relations, Endesa Chile implemented earlier this year an office called "Open House" in the city of San Clemente, in order to establish constant daily contact with the local residents. Endesa Chile has maintained an ongoing commitment with local schools through the Energy for Education program, which has enabled the training of teachers and students in new methodologies to strengthen skills in the context of the Ministry of Education’s national curriculum. In February this year, an agreement was also signed between the Río Maule Supervisory Board and Endesa Chile, which showed that disagreements and conflicts can be resolved in a spirit of dialogue. The memorandum confirmed that there is no impact produced by the Los Cóndores project, but rather, on the contrary, a commitment to optimize the use of the Laguna del Maule Reservoir was manifested, a vital point for irrigators.
For the latter, a work committee was implemented that has been meeting and progressing towards reaching new agreements between the parties.