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  HOME | Peru

Spanish Group to Build Transmission Line in Peruvian Amazon

LIMA Ė The Isolux Transmisora Peruana consortium, made up of two subsidiaries of Spanish engineering group Isolux Corsan, has signed a concession agreement for the construction of a $500 million, 220-kilovolt transmission line linking the north-central city of Moyobamba with the remote Amazon city of Iquitos.

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and Energy and Mines Minister Eleodoro Mayorga inked the contract here Monday at the presidential palace with Madrid-based Isolux Ingenieria and Mexico City-based Isolux de Mexico for the construction and 30-year maintenance of the 630-kilometer (390-mile) electrical line.

The transmission line is to be built in 52 months and connect Iquitos, capital of Peruís northernmost Loreto region, with Peruís main grid. Currently, that city relies on an isolated electricity system based on fossil fuel-fired power generation.

Under the terms of the contract, awarded on June 5, the line will deliver 150 megawatts to Iquitos, or triple that Amazon cityís current demand, although its transmission capacity will be 300 megawatts.

The lineís route will avoid environmentally sensitive areas such as the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, and the electrical infrastructure will include a substation in between Moyobamba, capital of the north-central region of San Martin, and the far-northern city of Iquitos, as well as a new substation in Iquitos.

The infrastructure also will integrate a fiber-optic network that will improve telecommunications between the Loreto region and the rest of the country.

The transmission line will help bring down power rates in the region, Humala said during the signing ceremony, adding that ensuring the populationís access to affordable electricity is one of his governmentís objectives.

The infrastructure will improve energy security, he said, while stressing the countryís future goal of exporting electricity to foreign markets.

Humala also instructed Mayorga to remove obstacles holding up pending electricity projects, which the government is counting on to create better development opportunities for young people in rural towns of the Peruvian Amazon.

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