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The Boruca Hydroelectric Project

Place in which the dam is going to be built.Studies related to this project began in the 1970s. According to the Newspaper La Nación (May 21, 2000) the work, valued at US$ 1,500 million, will commence in 2003 and seven years later, the head office will come into operation. Because the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) does not have the necessary economic resources to finance the project, they are seeking strategic alliances with big foreign companies, inside the framework of the privatization policy of the current government and the predominant neo-liberal political system.

According to ICE, the Boruca Hydroelectric Project will have the following dimensions:

 

AREA of DAM 260 Km²
HEIGHT of DAM 230 - 260 m
INSTALLED CAPACITY 1400 MW
ANNUAL ENERGY PRODUCTION 5300 GWh

The energy produced cannot be consumed by the country, instead it will be exported to other countries in Central America, as far as Mexico. An alternative project suggested, called Lower Boruca, comprises only 60 Km² and would produce one half of the energy.

Tunnel created for the studies on the damTherefore, ecologists and other groups question the sense of the Project and the economical benefit to Costa Rica and its people, alleging that the foreign investors will take the majority of the earnings. Some of those affected are hoping for substantial compensation and good work options. However, a document exists according to which the indigenous population, due to lack of technical training, cannot participate in the construction.

This project will affect 7 indigenous reserves in the region, at least because of the climatic changes it will involve, and it will completely flood the area of Rey Curré. They will have to relocate several populations and the existing infrastructures (including 60Km of the InterAmerican Highway).

 

 
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