Future work on the Hidroituango has been put on hold after a report released byEmpresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) showed that one of the companies in the Ituango PC-SC Consortium is not meeting the requirements to be able to work on the project.
The report, which pushes for EPM to reject the offer from the consortium, says that the Colombian company Schrader Camargo S.A.S. does not meet the minimum requirements that are needed in order to engage work in the massive public works project.
“The offer presented by the ITUANGO PC-SC CONSORTIUM is rejected, since the national member Schrader Camargo S.A.S. does not meet the participation requirement established in numeral 2.2.7.-Experience-, of the Particular Conditions,” the document read.
The Ituango PC-SC Consortium is made up of Chinese companies Powerchina International and Yellow River as well as Schrader Camargo. After former contractor CCC Ituango Consortium left the project in November 2022, they were the only ones to bid for the Hidroituango project when the deadline to submit bids was closed in December of last year.
The consortium was expected to start finishing up the third and fourth generators of the hydroelectric dam by the end of the year, as well as start construction for the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth generators once the deal was supposed to be finalized in March. This is now up in limbo after the apparent rejection of the deal.
Despite the clear rejection from the report released, EPM later clarified that the deal between the consortium and the government was not off the table, but was being re-evaluated as they await for Schrader Camargo to submit more evidence of their experience and compliance with requirements until February 22.
Schrader Camargo has also claimed that they actually do comply with the requirements of the deal, but that there were problems with some of the certificates showing their compliance. The company promised to deliver the missing requirements by the deadline.
The requirements being given to the Ituango PC-SC Consortium have been controversial for some time after Yellow River successfully petitioned EPM to lower the standards due to a lack of interested contractors who meet the original requirements for the project.
The Colombian Chamber of Infrastructure for Antioquia has criticized this action in the past, and after the rejection announcement, published a statement calling out the actions of EPM as “improvisation” that has affected the project negatively.
“We have warned it on multiple occasions and we will not tire of doing so. A bidding process that has been postponed 5 times, only shows a high degree of improvisation that seriously affects the project,” they said in a Twitter thread.
“Experts have concluded that it is imperative to finish the work as soon as possible, however, and despite the recommendations of technicians, the work is 1 year behind schedule, waiting for an offer that was unacceptable, despite having modified requirements to benefit some.
“Without a doubt, all this improvisation on the part of EPM and mayor Quintero will bring serious consequences for the country’s energy security, and therefore, it represents an imminent risk of blackout at the national level.”
Above photo: GE Ferrule for Hidroituango being installed, photo courtesy EPM