The Comptroller’s draft report found 171 defects in the hydroelectric plant due to a breach by the Chinese company Sinohydro. The review of the structural problems presented by the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant will be in the hands of the German company TUV, informed the minister of Non-Renewable Natural Resources, Carlos Pérez. After his appearance in the National Assembly to present his criteria for the 2019 budget pro forma, the Secretary of State indicated that in the first days of December the international firm will start the studies, a task that will be covered by the Chinese contractor Sinohydro.
“If the damages identified in the project are repaired, theGerman company will give us the solutions that must be implemented and will dothe respective follow-up,” Minister Pérez said. He added that the contractestablished a guarantee for two years, however an agreement is sought with thecontractor to issue a new guarantee for 10 years. “We are discussing theterms of that coverage. The company has already given its acceptance and wehope that this issue will be resolved in the coming days, “said Pérez.
In the special examination carried out by the control body, during the period between December 16, 2015 and April 30 of this year, 7,648 problems were identified. Perez said that these problems include microcracks, documentation that was not delivered, lack of operating manuals that should be translated into Spanish, but were delivered in Chinese.
The Minister also mentioned that the contractor did not deliver the spare part of one of the transformers, which was damaged and has not yet been replaced. On the other hand, he indicated that the report of an analysis carried out in a robotic way to the water systems is expected.
Pérez ruled out that the hydroelectric plant has a total paralysis, but there could be a partial stop to repair a turbine, a process that will be planned. Another problem that the official recognized was an error in the initial design of the plant, since it was built for a potential of 1,500 megawatts, but only produces that amount in peak hours and in a period of three to four hours, due to the Reservoir capacity.
He recalled that in the last 40 years the rains fell by 10%, so that the conditions of the dry season affect the rivers of the country, on which the Ecuadorian electric generation depends. The president of the Commission of Economic Development and former Minister of Electricity of the previous government, Esteban Albornoz, described as positive the intervention of an international firm to evaluate the failures and propose solutions.
He explained that in projects of this scope it is common thatthere are this type of problems the first five years of operation that must becorrected by contractors.
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Public institutes and universities
Public universities Comptroller evaluated the periods from September 10, 2012 to April 30, 2018 and from December 16, 2015 to April 30, 2018Existing centers The Office of the Comptroller determined prejudice for $ 27 million to the State
According to the draft Comptroller’s review, Sinohydro used non-approved materials; manufactured the elements without performing an adequate quality control; welded additional elements for transportation and handling; and, welded padlocks to carry out the hydrostatic tests, without applying the welding technical procedures, among other problems.
This led to two repair processes, one in 2015 and another in 2018. Problems were also identified in the runners of two units that show abrasion damage and detachment of the material that protects them.
The contractor rejected the requests for its reparation, which caused that up to the date of the special examination of the Comptroller’s Office (April 30), the reported damages have not been resolved.
After the examination, 171 defects in the hydroelectric plant were recorded without attention or solution, which means a loss of $ 465,380.18 to Coca Codo Sinclair; and of $ 27,779,406.57 to the State for the impact on income that should be received with the commercialization of the generated energy. In addition, there are other breaches such as the construction of the permanent operation camp, a work that records an advance of 76.3%.
For this reason, the Business Unit of Coca Codo Sinclair incurred additional expenses of $ 763,560 for transportation of technical and administrative personnel from the camp to the hydroelectric power station.
The draft of the exam also indicates problems to execute the environmental audits and breaches in the issuance of the environmental license for the operation of the project.
Corrective Failures in construction
Celec EP invested in the construction of eight turbines $ 1,010,844. 719.62. However, in the first two years of operation of the hydroelectric plant, designed for a useful life of 50 years, the contractor has intervened twice.
10 years extension of the guarantee of the work negotiates Ecuador with the Chinese contractor.
The analysis carried out by the German firm TUV will not generateany cost for the country, since it must be assumed by the Chinese companySinohydro. The report will provide recommendations to repair the faults. (I)