China puts Bolivia on wind map

BOLIVIA: Chinese wind and hydro-power engineering firm Hydrochina has landed a turnkey contract to build Bolivia's first wind plant: the 3MW first phase of the 15MW Qollpana project, scheduled for completion in November.

The project may use Goldwind's 1.5MW turbine
The project may use Goldwind's 1.5MW turbine

Bolivian president Evo Morales presided over the deal, signed on 9 March with state utility Empresa Electrica Corani, which is developing the project. The Chinese ambassador in Bolivia was also present.

The high-profile political turnout underlines the special bond between the two socialist regimes, with implications for future wind development.

Last year, the People's Republic of China announced its intention of financing the nearby 50MW Tarija project, developed by Chinese power engineering firm Sinomach.

Chinese financers and turbine technology — namely Goldwind and Sinovel — already have a major presence in booming Brazil and are also behind Ecuador's first projects, as well as Chile's burgeoning wind power pipeline.

Goldwind's 1.5MW turbine is rumoured locally to be Hydrochina's choice for Qollpana. Neither company was prepared to comment.

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