CONSTRUCTION OF THE 125MW Caracoles hydro project in Argentina's San Juan province is to restart after a two-year interruption.
US power company AES originally held the concession for the project. It returned the concession in 2002, and the project was frozen after having reached 27% completion. Talks started in January this year with all parties involved, a definitive agreement was reached in July, and contracts were signed on 3 September.
San Juan created a new power company – Empresa de Energía Provincial Sociedad del Estado (EPSE) – which signed the concession contract, as well as a construction contract with local companies Techint and Panedile, and an operations and maintenance contract with AES Caracoles.
Contracts were also signed with Banco San Juan, which will administer a US$50M trust fund of the province’s money while the federal government will provide a further US$100M for the project. Operations are scheduled to start in mid-2007.