September 28, 2015
PENETRON Technology Helps Expand Energy Output in Colombia
Opened with much fanfare last month, the new El Quimbo hydroelectric plant located on Colombia’s main river, the Rio Magdalena, will meet approximately 8% of Colombia’s energy requirements. PENETRON crystalline technology provided a durable waterproofing solution for leaks in the plant’s concrete spillway.
The dimensions of the US$ 490 million construction project were impressive. These included a main dam (160 x 700 m / 525 x 2,300 feet), a secondary dam (66 x 400 m / 216 x 1,312 feet) and a 400MW power station. The resulting water basin covers 8,000 hectares (19,770 acres) and is 55 km (34 miles) long, the largest reservoir in Colombia.
Owned and operated by Emgesa (a subsidiary of Italian ENEL Group), the energy output of the El Quimbo facility is double that of Betania, the sister plant farther downstream on the Rio Magdalena. The new facility is 250 km (155 miles) southwest of Bogota, the capital of Colombia, and it is the latest addition to a network of power plants along this river.
“The new El Quimbo hydroelectric plant is a vital part of Colombia’s expanding energy network and key to the country’s continued growth and development,” notes Jozef Van Beeck, Director of International Sales & Marketing of The PENETRON Group.
Soon after pouring about 250,000 m3 (327,000 cubic yards) of concrete, cracks appeared in the El Quimbo spillway structure due to volatile swings in temperature. The cracks were a serious concern for the developers; with a projected service life of 50 years, the facility needed to substantially enhance the durability of the concrete structures.
“After considering their options, the project contractor and designer specified PENETRON technology to ensure an effective, long-term and cost-effective solution,” adds Jozef Van Beeck. “A further advantage was that the PENETRON material could be applied on a wet surface, as the contractor could not guarantee a dry surface at all times, as required by other solutions.”
Subsequently, about 14,000 m2 (150,700 square feet) of the spillway were successfully treated with the PENETRON crystalline repair system.