Last year, the country faced potential power shortages when water levels at its 9025MW capacity Guri hydroelectric dam in southeast Venezuela reached record lows because of a three-year drought. However, abundant rains this year had restored water levels to close to the maximum at Guri.

CVG generates 72% of Venezuela’s electrical energy needs from its multiple hydro power projects on the lower Caroni river in southeast Bolivar state.

Besides its Guri and Macagua plants on the Caroni, CVG-Edelca is also developing two more hydroelectric projects – Caruachi and Tocoma – which will raise its total generating capacity to a projected 17,670 MW in 2014.

The US$2.6B, 2,250MW Caruachi plant already has eight of its 12 generating units running and the rest are to be brought on line in the first quarter of 2006. Construction of the US$3B, 2280MW Tocoma plant is underway and it is expected to be fully operational in 2014. CVG-Edelca was also working to expand the capacity of the 30-year-old Guri facility to 10,000MW.

Venezuela has received financing for the Caruachi and Tocoma projects from the Inter-American Development Bank and the Andean Development Corporation, the financing arm of the Andean Community of nations.