Last month, utility company EPM announced that installation began at the troubled Ituango hydroelectric project to install the first ferrules replacing the damaged units in the 2018 catastrophic flooding. The ferrules are 10 pieces of steel that are assembled to form part of a large tube that carries water after passing through the power turbines.
The ferrules have an average diameter of 7 meters by 4 meters in length, weigh 7 tons and they are the first power generation components installed in the powerhouse construction project.
The pieces were again manufactured in the city of Taubaté, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, by a subsidiary of General Electric (GE).
GE was awarded the contract to supply turbines, generators and associated equipment for the project in 2012, following an international tender carried out by EPM. After manufacturing, the units had to be shipped from Santos, Brazil to Colombian ports in the Caribbean, then deployed over roads as oversized cargo to the rural site of the Hidroituango hydroelectric dam in northern Antioquia.
Pending deliveries include power cable reels, bridge cranes and power transformers, and many other components. For energy generation, progress is being made in the construction and recovery of the underground plant with 2,400 MW of installed capacity and a projected 13,930 GWh of annual average energy. The powerhouse will contain 8 Francis turbines with a capacity of 300 MW each. Once complete, Hidroituango is expected to will supply 17% of Colombia’s national electrical energy consumption.