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Chinese Firm Chosen To Build a Major Dam Project

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The government of Ecuador last month signed a contract with Chinese contractor Sinohydro to build a hydroelectric project. The Coca Codo Sinclaire Dam will be located on the upper Napo River, a tributary of the Amazon, about 75 miles east of Quito. It will generate 1,500 MW and is expected to cost $2 billion. Fifteen percent of the financing will be provided by the Ecuadorean government, and the remaining 85% will be a loan from China’s Export-Import Bank. When completed, the project will be the largest dam built outside China by a Chinese firm. Construction is expected to take five years. Once online, Coca Codo is expected to supply up to 70% of Ecuador’s electricity needs, reducing its dependency on imported power. The project initially was begun in the 1980s, but halted in 1987 by the eruption of El Reventador volcano.

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