Rains Cause Major Damage To ICE Hydroelectric Project in Limon

The tranquil river Reventazón, which in April offered no resistance to the diversion of its waters by two concrete tunnels became a juggernaut over the weekend.

The current devastated key works Reventazón Hydroelectric Project, that ICE is building in Siquirres, Limón.

The most serious problems is that, by the time of the tragedy the project lacked an insurance policy.

This implies that the cost of damages must be assumed exclusively by the entity.

To date the investment is $250 million entirely covered in ICE’s budget.

Officials at the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) is still unknown if the plant with the capacity to illuminate 525,000 homes, will be ready in the summer of 2016 as expected.

Access roads, power house, a bridge to transport materials, and especially the work on the dam site, were most affected by water.

The biggest blow was to the dam of 31 meters high, which keeps the water channeled into the diversion tunnels and protects the dam. The river swept much of the levee away and then the river resumed its natural course.

This means that engineers must divert the river into the tunnels again, to resume construction of the dam that is 130 meters high.

Luis Roberto Rodriguez, director of the project, denied that this incident will lead to an overall rethinking megaobra.

However, experts explained that the institution of several specialties are working hard in Siquirres in San Jose to assess the impact and make adjustments as appropriate in the design of certain works.

The current also destroyed machinery (mostly of contractors), equipment and temporary structures.

The ICE was still retains 30% of staff (the return is 2,700 employees) until they conclude the cleanup, rehabilitation of roads and electricity is restored.

According to Rodriguez, the rest of the works where there was no involvement as the main tunnel, and the borehole, continue their course work.

The project cost amounts to $ 1,200 million was an advance of 45% when construction was hit by the flood.

Asked why the project did not have a policy, Luis Roberto Rodriguez explained that the insurance depends on funding.

“At this moment the damage is not covered by a policy because it is basically linked to the financing of the project as a whole,” the official acknowledged.

This is not the first time that a ICE project is beaten by a natural phenomenon. In May 2008 storm destroyed much of Alma Pirrís project in the area of Los Santos. In this case it was insured.

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