Congress approves reforms for Tumarin

$1.1 million hydroelectric plant will generate 25 percent of Nicaragua's power

(posted Nov. 13, 6:45 p.m.)- The legislative National Assembly today approved a special reform to the Law to Development the Tumarín Hydroelectric Project, a monstrous 253-megawat dam that will supply nearly 25% of all Nicaragua’s energy needs once it is completed in 2016, according to plans.

The $1.1 billion project—a collaborative effort between Nicaragua and Brazil in the works since 2009—will be built by Brazilian consortium Centrales Hidroeléctricas de Nicaragua (CHN) with funding provided primarily by Brazil’s National Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES), the Inter-American Development Bank and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, according to government and company sources. The hydroelectric dam will be built in the community of La Cruz de Río Grande, a rural and bucolic farming community of some 3,000 people in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS).

Nuevo Apawás will be a cheerful, modern town, according to cartoon promises (CHN)

The reform passed today in the National Assembly will allow the hydroelectric project to increase its total energy production to help pay for the increase in construction costs, which have already gone up by $300 million since the project was initially approved three years ago.

The reform also establishes a series of incentives and calls for a reduction in the size of the reservoir (from 55 square kilometers to 41 square kilometers) that will be generated by flooding the Río Grande de Matagalpa. Some 300 families will be displaced by the flooding and relocated to a newly constructed town called Nuevo Apawás, which the Brazilian company promises in cartoon drawings will be a cheerful and well-lighted place, with “modern homes,” a market, evangelical and catholic churches, and a health center.

The Nicaraguan government, which would assume control of the hydroelectric plant after 26 years of operation, says the project will generate 3,500 direct jobs and dramatically reduce the country’s demand on foreign oil.

  • Raffles

    Of course they’ll sell the electricity to the Sandanista Party who will then sell it to the Distribution Company just like they are doing with the Oil from Venezuela.

    On the more serious side this is going to be a huge benefit if it’s handled right and that includesseeing that consumers end up with better pricing for electricity. It’s a risk for people putting up the money and the more risk they see the more potential profit they’ll want which adds to costs consumers end up paying.

    You have to have consumers able to pay for electricity instead of expecting it free or discounted. General economic well being of average Nicaraguan has to be improved a great deal and that in turn will support more of this kind of huge development effort.

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