A new 400 MW hydropower plant in Colombia will help to secure the country’s energy supplies and will also enable Endesa to maintain its leading position in Colombia’s generation market, says the Spanish firm.

Endesa is investing $837 million in the Quimbo plant, which will be the first hydro plant built by a private company in Colombia and the largest developed in Latin America by Endesa since the Ralco hydropower plant in Chile.It is developing the project through its Colombian subsidiary, Emgesa.

Construction of El Quimbo will take around four years and includes a programme to restore over 11 000 hectares of tropical dry forest as well as a social compensation programme for families affected by the project. The plant will generate over 2200 GWh/year of energy and will help to improve the security and stability of the Colombian electricity system, says Endesa.

“The El Quimbo project underlines Endesa’s commitment to the Colombian market and confirms its position, via Emgesa, as the leading player in the country’s energy market,” said Endesa in a statement. The company has set a target of generating over 50 per cent of its electricity from greenhouse gas emission-free sources.