THE WOODLANDS, TXEntergy Wholesale Operations, the power development, marketing and trading unit of Entergy Corp., has announced that the tunnel is starting to be filled with water at the Chimay Hydroelectric Station located in Peru. For a hydroelectric plant, tunnel filling is a significant milestone, indicating the civil-related works have been completed and commercial testing will soon begin.
Its sister plant, the Yanango Hydroelectric Station was placed into commercial operation earlier this year. Yanango came in under budget and established a world record schedule completion for constructing this type of “run-of-river” project. Chimay is now poised for similar results.
Together, the two projects, Chimay and Yanango, are referred to as “Chinango” and are located approximately 125 miles east of Lima, Peru, on the Atlantic side of the Andean Mountains. The projects are separate facilities but do share a common transmission line, a new 120 kilometer, 220 kV line built as part of the projects.
Chimay, 142 MW, and Yanango, 40 MW, are greenfield projects resulting from one and one half years of active development lead by Texas-based Entergy Wholesale Operations. The Chinango sister hydroelectric projects represent the second expansion of generation capacity undertaken by EWO for EDEGEL of Lima, Peru. EWO earlier completed a 125 MW expansion project for EDEGEL, the Santa Rosa thermal power plant-also under budget and ahead of schedule.
“Filling the tunnel at Chimay ahead of schedule represents a major milestone for Entergy, EDEGEL and our other partners in this project,” said Geoff Roberts, EWO president and CEO. “The Chinango plants were the first turnkey hydroelectric projects ever attempted; we are delighted with the results so far. We plan to carry over this type of streamlined construction effort to other development initiatives through the recently announced joint venture with The Shaw Group.”
Entergy announced its joint venture with Shaw on June 2. Entergy-Shaw will provide management, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning services to build electric power plants.
Construction on the Yanango project was launched in late 1997 and completed in a record 25 months. The project established a world execution record for this type of projectYanango was completed 30 days ahead of schedule; Chimay is currently on schedule to be nearly five months early. Yanango was completed for 15 percent under budget. While the final cost of Chimay is undetermined, it is also expected to be significantly under budget. Yanango and Chimay are the first central hydroelectric stations constructed in Peru with private capital in more than three decades.
Some of the project’s success is attributable to the innovative use of a rock tunnel-boring machine, or TBM, with its 18-foot diameter cutting head. The TBM drilled through solid rock, to move water from a small diversion dam up-river into the Chimay plant. Overall, about half the 5.8 mile tunnel was bored by the TBM. This is only the second time this technology has been used in Peru.
Together, the Yanango and Chimay projects will boost EDEGEL’s generating production by about 33 percent and represent a total investment of approximately $200 million (U.S.).
The project was a joint development effort of EDEGEL, the second largest power generator in Peru and PERENE or Peruana de Energia, a Peruvian company dedicated to hydroelectric development. Entergy is a 24 percent owner of EDEGEL. Endesa Chile owns 37 percent of EDEGEL. Along with Entergy, Endesa Chile, EDEGEL and PERENE all played important roles in the successful development and construction of the Chinango projects.