Difficult technical conditions and the withdrawal of a construction consortium led the client, US-owned generator AES Gener, to conclude a new construction agreement with Strabag in February of this year. This was on hold while Strabag agreed a refinancing agreement with its banks.
In November 2012, Strabag was awarded its first contract on the €2.1bn Alto Maipo scheme, located 50 km southeast of Santiago.
The work involves building two run-of-river dams: the 267MW Las Lajas and 264MW Alfalfal, both of which are located in the upper section of the Maipo River.
The consortium that pulled out in May last year was the Constructora Nuevo Maipo, or CNM, which comprised Hochtief and CMC Di Ravenna.
The new contract requires Strabag to construct tunnels with a total length of 73km.
According to AES Gener, Strabag will assume the geological risk of the project’s construction, and will carry out the work under a lump sum contract with guaranteed completion dates. It will also finance part of the cost, in return for which it will expand its stake in the completed asset, which presently stands at 7%.
Image: Strabag’s work will involve boring 73km of tunnels (Strabag)