To meet Colombia’s increasing energy demands, Empresas Públicas de Medellín built a new hydroelectric power plant. SGS helped to supervise the work.

Across the globe, consumers and businesses are seeking new sources of renewable energy. To help meet Colombia’s energy demands, in 2004, Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) began construction of Porce III, a 150-meter-high dam and hydroelectric plant on the River Porce, 90 kilometers northeast of Medellín.

A complex project requires specialist skills

To ensure that the project was completed according to plan, with minimal financial, safety or environmental risks, EPM hired Estudios Técnicos S.A. (ETSA), which was acquired by SGS in March 2012, to supervise the work – leading a joint venture that included two other engineering firms.

Work began in 2005, with experts in construction and supervision taking responsibility for many specialist tasks, including:

  • Supervision of civil engineering work
  • Supervision of the installation of mechanical and electrical equipment, and control, voice and data systems
  • Electromechanical testing
  • Supervision of road maintenance
  • Commissioning of the plant

The Porce III dam was completed in 2010, and all four of the hydroelectric plant’s generators became fully operational between 2011 and 2012.

EPM expressed its satisfaction with SGS’s work by extending the contract and awarding SGS additional tasks, including testing new equipment and supervising the power plant’s operation.

SGS remained with the project until February 2013.

The people benefit

Even before the plant was completed and generation of electricity began, the project benefited the community by creating jobs for unskilled workers.

Today, Porce III provides all of Colombia with electrical power, contributing an additional 660 MW to Colombia’s national grid.

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