Costa Rica to examine structural integrity of dam at Cachí hydro project

Costa Rica’s state power company Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) has launched bidding to analyze the structural integrity of the dam at its Cachí hydro project.

According to BNamericas, the dam is 78 m high and 65 m wide at the crest, and its reservoir covers 3.24 km2 with gross storage capacity of 51 million cubic meters. The dam collects water from the Reventazón River to power turbines with a total capacity of 105.7 MW. The facility has been in operation for 56 years.

The company chosen to perform the work will help determine a roadmap to ensure the dam’s operation for another 50 years and, if retrofit work is required, proposals must be submitted.

The bulk of the electricity in Costa Rica comes from hydropower plants, which in January through October covered nearly 73% of demand, including exports.

Earlier this month, Hydro Review reported that meetings are beginning between ICE and private electricity generators – with plants built and without a contract – for the purchase of energy. This approach will allow ICE to acquire the energy required to meet national demand if needed.