The saddest day of the EPM due to the contingency of the Hidroituango



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This April 28 marks a year of obstruction of the auxiliary diversion gallery (GAD) that generated the emergency and the delay of the hydroelectric project.

The clogging of this tunnel was the beginning of a series of events that have kept the country on hold throughout this year, as well as the surplus costs, investigations and uncertainties of thousands of people living in the area of ​​influence of the project.

One of the most costly decisions that EPM had to take to avoid an emergency was to divert the Cauca River flow through the powerhouse, the heart of the project. Through this room for nine months the water flowed causing millions of dollars in damages.

On that decision, William Giraldo, EPM's vice president of power generation projects, recently shared an anecdote reflecting the impact of the determination that sought to prevent a downstream tragedy because the dam was not finished and impoundment of the river meant a threat. for communities.

"This is one of the saddest moments I've had during the 30 years I've been in the organization, it's not me, it's a companion (photo above) because I'm taking the picture because it was the night we went into the water for the engine room," Giraldo refers to the night of May 10, 12 days after the obstruction of the auxiliary gallery.

In the picture you can see one of the mega-workers, who helplessly watched as the water began to go through the heart of the project, because it was expected that from December, the Hidroituango would begin to generate energy.

"In the engine room we had already installed a generator that more or less reached 85% of its assembly and the second generator was more or less 60%. At the plant, we had about 110 million dollars (about 350 million pesos ) in equipment, "said Giraldo.

At the time, John Maya Salazar, vice president of business management at EPM, also said that flooding the powerhouse was the most difficult and painful time to build the hydroelectric plant.

After closing the gates and evacuating water from the powerhouse, EPM's position on the project's recovery and its progress is positive because despite the damage it would take 20 months to repair, the cave is in good condition.

In the context:

What is necessary

The work was delayed for three years and, according to Jorge Londoño De la Cuesta, manager of EPM, the project's surplus costs total 3.5 billion pesos.

After 12 months of seeking to regain control of the project, around 3,500 workers work on three fronts: recovery of the engine room, final tunnel fence and completion of the dam at its final level.

EPM also focuses on the cavity arrangement that was found in December 2018 between the collection tunnels, which forced the anticipated closure of the powerhouse locks in January and February, respectively.

Meanwhile, the control entities advance their investigations for alleged irregularities in the causes of the contingency.

See more information on the special Hidroituango, in an emergency.

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