Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has approved a supreme decree to carry out final design studies for the 3,251-MW El Chepete and 425-MW El Bala hydro projects in La Paz department.
According to BNamericas, a contract will be signed in the coming weeks with Italian company Geodata Engineering to carry out the pre-investment work. Morales said the design work will cost about US$15 million and take 15 months. Geodata conducted identification studies for the plants.
The two facilities are expected to take five to six years to complete and cost US$6 billion in total.
Previous announced generating capacity of El Bala, on the Beni River, was 1,600 MW; it is not clear why or when the size was reduced to 425 MW. It is possible the project previously called El Bala was actually Angosto del Bala on the Beni River.