Construction of Bolivia’s first geothermal plant progressing
The 5-MW pilot plant for the Laguna Colorada geothermal project in Bolivia by Sacyr and Ormat Technologies is set to start operations by April 2022
Spain-based Sacyr has provided an update on the construction of the 5-MW pilot plant for the 100-MW Laguna Colorada geothermal power project in Bolivia, indicating that the pilot plant will be operational by April. The joint venture between Sacyr and Ormat Technologies was awarded the contract for the project by Bolivian energy utility ENDE, as we reported.
The pilot plant is set to become the geothermal plant located at the highest altitude in the world at 4970 meters above sea level. It will be maintained and operated for two years by the JV and will supply electrical energy to the small communities of native peoples spread over the wide area of influence. Currently, these communities only receive about four hours of power per day from diesel generator sets.
The pilot plant will also be used to support the construction of the 100-MW power plant by supplying the energy needed for construction.
The Sacyr-Ormat joint venture has designed a binary technology plant that is respectful of the environment. The facility is hermetic, since all the steam and brine used for generation is not released into the environment, but is reinjected three kilometers away from the well that provides the steam. In this way, it is guaranteed that the underground steam reservoir is always being recharged, so that generation is permanently assured.
“The construction of these facilities is proving to be a real logistical challenge that the Sacyr Bolivia team has managed to solve with great effort and teamwork,” explains Miguel Lorente Quesada, director of this project at Sacyr Industrial . It is a huge and very unpopulated area. The Original Communities of this area do not add more than 2,500 inhabitants.”
“We are being welcomed as guests on the lands of the Original Community of Quetena Chico, so we maintain constant collaboration and communication with this Quechua community, with whom we have established a symbiosis, hiring local personnel and contracting services such as some food supplies and others. several, generating wealth, development and a better quality of life for its inhabitants”, adds Quesada.