Lasso says energy crisis is ‘on the verge of a solution’ following trips to Colombia and Peru

Oct 30, 2023 | 0 comments

Ecuador’s electric blackouts could end soon, President Guillermo Lasso announced Saturday in Bogota following a meeting with Colombian President Gustavo Petro. “Colombia will double its electric transmission to support us during our energy crisis,” Lasso said. “With this and other arrangements we are making, the blackouts will no longer be necessary.”

President Guillermo Lasso and Colombian President Gustavo Petro met Saturday in Bogota.

Although details remain to be worked out, Lasso said additional electrical transmissions will began flowing to Ecuador on Sunday. “The additional electricity will be generated in Colombia’s thermal facilities, not at its hydro plants, and Ecuador will repay the debt in kind when our generation capacity improves,” he said.

Previously, the Colombian electric authority said thermally generated power would cost Ecuador double the current kilowatt hour charge and wouid require cash payments.

After Lasso’s announcement, Ecuador’s Energy Ministry said that most blackouts would be suspended Sunday and would be reduced by 50% on Monday.

In addition to the agreement with Petro, Lasso said Peru President Dina Boluarte has promised to provide power transfers from the south. “We will have an announcement about this within a matter of days as well as about conversations with a private thermal generation company in Guayaquil,” Lasso said.

Lasso visited Boluarte in Lima last week to attend a ceremony recognizing the 25th anniversary of the peace agreement that ended a border war between Ecuador and Peru

“With the additional 450 megawatts from Colombia, plus the 100 we expect from an Ecuadorian business, and at least 50 from Peru, we will cover 92% of our energy deficit, which is currently about 650 megawatts,” Lasso said. “With other adjustments, we will be able to end the crisis.”

In his comments, Petro said that Colombia’s hydro-electric generation is also suffering from the drought but said the country had constructed several diesel- and gas-powered plants in recent years and has “extra emergency capacity.”

He added: “Ecuador and President Lasso are good friends and, following our discussions today, we are happy to provide assistance.”

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