Rationing and increase in energy rates: the mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, issues harsh warnings if Hidroituango does not turn on

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The president of the capital of Antioquia pointed out that the country could go into energy rationing next year due to delays in the hydroelectric project and the appearance of a dry spell

Rationing and increase in energy rates: the mayor of Medellin, Daniel Quintero, issues harsh warnings if Hidroituango does not turn on

Stock image of Hidroituango. Mayor Daniel Quintero warned that if the dam does not come into operation, the energy rate in the country would increase by 100 pesos. Photo: ANLA

The mayor of Medellín and director of the Board of Directors of Public Companies of Medellín (EPM), Daniel Quintero, warned that if does not start operations Hidroituango before next December, the energy rate in Colombia could increase by 100 pesos.

During a debate on political control in the Fifth Commission of the Senate, the local president explained that, because the evacuations ordered by the Risk Management Office have not been complied with, the dam< /b> it would not start operating next Wednesday, November 30, as planned in the schedule.

EPM is ready to start with Hidroituango already in operation, lower the pressure on the spillway, we still need to evacuate and it could not happen before November 30and if it doesn't happen, then obviously we won't be able to meet that date,” said Mayor Quintero.

Given the possible delays in the start of operation of the hydroelectric project, the local president of Medellín affirmed that the country's energy rates could suffer an increase. “This has been reported by EPM, more or less 100 pesos would increase the energy rate if December 1 does not comes into operation, he said.

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Following , the burgomaster pointed out: This impacts the pockets of the poorest. We cannot have a discourse, on the one hand, of saying that we are working to lower electricity rates, and on the other hand, not understanding that six thermal plants running mean higher energy prices for the city, the department and the entire country”.

The mayor of Medellín also pointed out that the increase in energy rates would not be the only thing the country would have to face if Hidroituango does not start operating. According to Quintero, next year there could be rationing due to the energy demand in the national territory.

Rationing and increase in energy rates: the mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, issues harsh warnings if it does not turn on Hidroituango

Archive image of some of the works being carried out in Hidroituango

“If Hidroituango did not catch on, then next year we would be talking about rationing without a doubt because the country's energy demand is growing and the trend will not change because we say so. And it will not change, the question is what is the energy or how it is produced”, indicated the president of the capital of Antioquia.

But in the event that the dam does come into operation before November 30th, Quintero stated that energy rates in the country would decrease by 5%, according to internal analyzes carried out by EPM.

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In this regard, the EPM manager, Jorge Andrés Carrillo, stated that since the company are ready for the hydroelectric project to come into operation, although, he assured, it is necessary that, beforehand, all communities downstream of Hidroituango be evacuated.

We cannot start the operation until the respective evacuations ordered by the Risk Management Unit have not been carried out. It is the mayors who must order the evacuations in each of their municipalities, at the same time”, Carrillo said.

Given the possibility that the dam will not come into operation before November 30, the governor of Antioquia, Aníbal Gaviria, reiterated his call to the national government< b> to extend the deadline for the start of operation of Hidroituango.

“It does not have to be an extension of several months , but basically it takes a few days, a few more weeks to refine everything in order to have greater security at the start of operation and to reduce the risk to the communities”, stressed Gaviria.