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Bolivia signs dam accord with Chinese company

Posted on Dec 14, 12:29PM | IANS

Bolivia's government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese company Sinohydro Corporation Ltd., which pledged to review existing studies for a hydroelectric dam project in the northern Amazon region of Beni.

The Hydrocarbons and Energy Ministry said in a statement that the document was signed by Minister Juan Jose Sosa and a representative of Sinohydro Corporation, Li Wei.

Under the terms of the MoU, the Chinese company will review and optimize design plans for the Cachuela Esperanza hydroelectric dam project within a period of 90 days.

"Execution of Phase 1 does not involve any financial commitment by the Hydrocarbons and Energy Ministry nor for (Bolivian state-owned power company) ENDE," the statement said.

If authorities accept the study, a second phase will commence to negotiate "the financing, construction and launch" of the project.

Bolivia signed a similar deal in July with state-owned company Hydrochina, which in recent days delivered a feasibility study for the Rositas hydroelectric dam in the eastern region of Santa Cruz.

The Bolivian government expects these projects will enable it to export electrical energy to neighbouring countries while also guaranteeing domestic supplies.