Sacyr-Ormat advances in the construction of the first geothermal plant in Bolivia

By : Dr. Franyi Sarmiento, Ph.D., Inspenet, March 22, 2022

The Spanish company Sacyr reported on the progress of the construction of the 5 MW pilot plant for the 100 MW Laguna Colorada geothermal energy project in Bolivia, indicating that the pilot plant will be operational in April 2022.

The joint venture between Sacyr and Ormat Technologies was awarded the project contract by Bolivian power company ENDE.

This plant will become the highest geothermal plant in the world: 4,970 meters above sea level. It will be maintained and operated for two years by the Sacyr-Ormat joint project and will supply electricity 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.

Miguel Lorente Quesada, director of this project at Sacyr Industrial, explains “The construction of these facilities is turning out to be a real logistical challenge that the Sacyr Bolivia team has been able to solve with great effort and teamwork”. In addition, this is a huge and very unpopulated area, which has native communities of approximately 2,500 inhabitants.

According to a company statement, the plant was designed with environmentally friendly binary technology. The installation is hermetic, since all the steam and brine used for generation are not released into the environment, but are reinjected three kilometers from the well that provides the steam. In this way, it is guaranteed that the underground steam reservoir is always recharged, so generation is permanently assured.

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