Inspenet, October 2, 2023.
Last week, an important achievement was achieved in the Hidroituango works, since Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) completed the demolition of the concrete plug of pipeline three. This progress will allow us to proceed with the filling of this part of the project in the coming days.
This fact plays a fundamental role for the transport of water from the reservoir to the turbogenerator set. Once the mechanical gate is removed, the first tests necessary for power generation can be carried out. It is relevant to remember that last July, EPM received from Croatia the first of the mechanical gates necessary to obstruct the flow of water while the demolition of the concrete plug progressed.
The gate (weighing about 80 tons) was placed at a depth of 60 meters in the reservoir. These details were previously provided by William Giraldo, who serves as vice president of power generation projects at EPM.
The Hidroituango work continues to advance
Destruction of the concrete plug was an extremely complicated task due to the difficult conditions inside the cavern and the water pressure at that specific location. The engineers supervising the work had originally estimated that it would take around 45 days to successfully complete this task. The obstruction had a diameter of 6.6 meters and a length of 9 meters.
“The importance of this milestone is to allow water to enter the third generation unit. This allows the start of the tests with water. Before this there are other activities that we must do. One is the tunnel demobilization plan, where first “We have to do some covering work and then remove the nets,” explained Andrés Gómez, expert project professional. Hidroituango .
In the coming days, once these tasks are completed, the mechanical gate will be removed and the drain grate closed. In this way, tests will begin in the third generation unit, which is expected to begin operating before November 30, complying with the commitments established by the Energy and Gas Regulation Commission (Creg).
Regarding the conduction of unit 4, the depressurization has been completed and the demolition work will continue, which has similar characteristics to those of the third unit.
With the successful operation of units 1 and 2, which entered service at the end of last year, and the efforts to complete the two remaining units of the first phase, EPM has achieved a total of 92% construction progress on the project. Unit 3 has advanced 93%, while unit 4 has reached 84% progress.
Once the first phase of the project is fully operational with the four units, the plant will generate 1,200 MW of energy for the country.