The second largest hydroelectric station in Peru is Cerro del Águila and it is in Huancavelica, in the middle of Peru. Its construction and startup required the participation of a team of over 2,200 people with a single purpose: to bring electricity to more than four million Peruvians.
About the project and the challenges
Cerro del Águila is located at the foot of the Mantaro. It has a 544 MW capacity and accounts for approximately 7% of the power provided to the National Interconnected Electric System, which is mainly distributed to homes in Huancavelica, Junín and Lima.
To build it, our team faced great challenges, such as the construction of a reservoir in the river and a 6 km long tunnel through the mountain. With it, water from the river flows through a vertical shaft, enters the turbines of the tunnel to generate electricity and, lastly, flows back to the river through another tunnel.
The geographical complexity of the project area was another major challenge the team faced. “A diversion tunnel had to be built for the river in the dry season in order to build from the rock at the lowest point in the river. A second challenge was taking the concrete from one bank to the center of the river. For this purpose, the company installed lifting equipment. This technology made it possible to move heavy objects and to pour approximately 25 tons of concrete at a time,” explained Juan Alfonso Paredes, our Project Manager.
Joint work with the community
With the company’s arrival in the area, access roads were built for the villages of Jatuspata and Quintao in Huancavelica. This allowed motor vehicles into these areas for the first time, thereby facilitating transportation for the local population.
Paredes, an expert who has been working for Graña y Montero for over 14 years, commented that this project is an example of what teamwork can achieve. “It was a win-win relationship, since they helped us with their knowledge of the land, anticipating potential mudslides when it rains. We provided the resources, so there are now roads that benefit hundreds of locals,” he said.