This week's highlight projects
Bolivia: Construction of Ivirizu Dam enters critical stage
On Oct 15, Power China announced on its website that diversion of the Ivirizu River has been completed, allowing the construction of the main dam to begin.
The successful water diversion (through a diversion channel constructed earlier) marks the fulfilment of the second milestone in the contract for building the 280MW Ivirizu Dam, said the Power China web post. Sinohydro, the Chinese hydropower construction contractor building the dam, is a subsidiary of Power China.
The controversial project is located inside the Carrasco National Park, a highly biodiverse area. It was approved by the Bolivian government as a project "in the national interest" but has since then been shrouded in controversies over deforestation and mitigation of the construction's impact.
Cambodia: Country's first major hydropower project achieved record electricity output
Cambodia's Kamchay dam, the country's first major hydropower dam, inaugurated in 2011, registered a record 4,771,100 kwh of power generation on Oct 19. The record was achieved after 9 months of drought before October this year. With "close coordination with Cambodia's national electricity dispatch authority", the operator took advantage of major weather events that dramatically pushed up water levels in the Kampot region where the dam is located.
The 193 MW Kamchay hydropower dam was constructed by Sinohydro under a 44-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contract. Unlike an Engineer-Procurement-Construction (EPC) contract arrangement where the company's involvement ends at the completion and handover of the project, the BOT nature of the deal embeds the Chinese company more deeply inside the Cambodian power system as operator of the country's first major dam project. In 2015, for example, company representatives had to respond to allegations that its operation caused widespread flooding in Kampot province.