Start-up of El Recreo II hydropower plant in Guatemala

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Start-up of the El Recreo II hydropower plant on the River Samalá in Guatemala. The project has an installed power capacity of 24.32 MW, with an equipment flow of 18 m3/s and a net head of 146 metres.

Start-up of the El Recreo II hydropower plant on the River Samalá in the Department of Retalhuleu, Guatemala, concluded in October. The project has an installed power capacity of 24.32 MW, with an equipment flow of 18 m3/s and a net head of 146 metres

The project takes water directly from the outlet channel from the El Recreo power plant and, via a well and a tunnel measuring 60 metres, the water is taken to an intake chamber. The project’s by-pass line begins here, which consists of a 1,800 metre U-shaped tunnel 3.5 metres in width and 3.5 metres in height followed by a steel conduit of 2,400 metres in length and 2.6 metres in diameter of variable thickness. Before the transition from tunnel to conduit, a surge tank has been built measuring 6.9 metres in diameter and 23.5 metres in height.

The machine room is fitted with two Francis horizontal axis turbines with release valves and the outlet channel is 300 metres long, via which the water is taken to the River Samalá.

Power is provided via a 1.5 kilometre 69 kV line, which connects to an existing line of the same voltage through a switching substation.

Participating companies

The public works, including underground and surface construction, was carried out by the Spanish company Proacon.

The water to wire for the machine room was contracted out to the company Andritz, which installed INDAR generators.

The lifting substation, evacuation line and switching substation were supplied by the company STE.

Gas Natural Fenosa Ingeniería y Desarrollo de Generación S.A. was involved from the early stages of the project right through until start-up: pre-feasibility project, feasibility project, support during public works and electromechanical equipment tendering, detailed engineering and public works construction supervision, manufacture, assembly and start-up.

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