Colombia clears Endesa permit for El Quimbo plant
May 18, 2009
Colombia awarded a local affiliate of Spain''s Endesa with the environmental permit for the construction of the El Quimbo hydroelectric plant with a $700 million investment, according to Reuters. The Environmental Ministry said Endesa must replant more than 20,000 hectares of forestland; establish a program to protect water supplies; and compensate residents affected by the construction work as part of its permit. "It is a strict license, one that considers not only the environmental impact of the development, but also social and economic impact that the project will generate," Environmental Minister Carlos Costa said in a statement. El Quimbo, scheduled to begin operating around 2015, will be the first hydroelectric plant built by the private sector in Colombia. Endesa is owned by Italy''s Enel. The project will meet growing local demand and energy export needs.