By Esteban Cordero Balarezo
The hydroelectric plant Minas-San Francisco, under construction since 2013, will be operational in May, according to government officials.
Located at kilometer 92 on the Cuenca – Pasaje highway, just south of the Yunguilla Valley, the plant will generate 275 megawatts of electric energy. It will supply electricity to the national grid, or the National Interconnected System (Sistema Nacional Interconectado).
Minas-San Francisco is one of three large hydro plants located on the border of Azuay Province. Once construction on the third facility, the plants will produce more than 50 percent of Ecuador’s electricity.
Last week, the plant’s reservoir began taking on water. The reservoir has a capacity of five million cubic meters of water and extends for five kilometers on the Rio Jubones, 35 miles south of Cuenca. The plant’s three turbines will begin tests in April.
Recently, two bridges were also inaugurated in association with the project. The first is a pedestrian bridge in Las Juntas and Pachamama, and has a length of 120 meters. The bridge connects 12 communities in Azuay, El Oro, and Loja provinces. One parish, Abañín, in the province of El Oro, has 1,800 residents, and the bridge will help the community to trade with communities in the neighboring provinces.
The second bridge is a roadway that replaces an older bridge and is 65 meters in length.
The governmental municipalities in the neighboring areas of Pucara and Santa Isabel, along with the other communities, are satisfied with how the project has progressed, and are looking forward to the expected benefits that the bridges will bring.
Souce: El Tiempo