Panama: Hydroelectric Station Barro Blanco Works Suspended

The National Environmental Authority has ordered the suspension of works in the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project of 28 MW, which is being run by Generadora del Istmo SA.

Monday, February 9, 2015

From a statement issued by the National Environmental Authority (ANAM):

The National Environmental Authority has announced an order for cessation of work on the hydroelectric project Barro Blanco run by Generadora del Istmo S.A. and Hidráulica San José S.A. due to failure in the environmental impact study which involves the construction and operation of a hydroelectric generation plant with an installed capacity of 28.84 MW on the Tabasará River.

The ANAM carried out the administrative process due to environmental violations following repeated findings of non-compliance verified during inspections by the technical staff of the ANAM.

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Panama: Impact of Decisions on Barro Blanco

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Multilateral development agencies are warning that the suspension of the hydroelectric project could affect future long term investment decisions in the country.

The decision of the government of Panama to stop execution of the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project with the original concessionaire Generadora del Istmo S.A.

Request to Lift Suspension of Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Station

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The company Generadora del Istmo has given assurances that it will comply with all environmental measures and is calling for the lifting of the suspension of the construction of the 28 MW hydroelectric station.

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Panama: Construction of Hydroelectricity Station Halted

February 2015

Due to the existence of unresolved issues related to environmental management and cultural heritage the suspension of construction of the hydroelectric station Barro Blanco, in Chiriquí, has been proposed, a project which is already 95% complete and which will generate 28 MW.

The High Level Committee responsible for assessing compliance with the requirements established in the concession contract will recommend suspending the construction project because, besides environmental violations, "... there are a number of unresolved issues, for which it corresponds to the State to uphold the commitments established between the company and the community. "

Panama: Progess on Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Station

August 2014

The construction of the 28 MW dam is 85% complete and testing operations are expected to begin by the end of 2014.

The company Generadora del Istmo S.A. (Genisa), in charge of construction of the project, reported that "... at the moment the physical progress of the dam body is 89% complete, while the spillway and the powerhouse are 87% and 57% complete, respectively, placing the overall progress of the project at 85%. "