Caruachi Dam

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Caruachi Dam
Caruachi Dam in Venezuela.JPG
Caruachi Dam is located in Venezuela
Caruachi Dam
Location of Caruachi Dam in Venezuela
Location Bolívar, Venezuela
Coordinates 08°09′36″N 62°47′55″W / 8.16000°N 62.79861°W / 8.16000; -62.79861Coordinates: 08°09′36″N 62°47′55″W / 8.16000°N 62.79861°W / 8.16000; -62.79861
Construction began 1998
Opening date 31 March 2006
Construction cost US$ 2.1 billion
Owner(s) CVG Electrification del Caroni CA
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Concrete gravity dam/embankment
Impounds Caroni River
Height 55 m (180 ft)
Length 5,728 m (18,793 ft)[1]
Dam volume 11,000,000 m3 (390,000,000 cu ft)
Spillway type Service, gate-controlled
Spillway capacity 30,000 m3/s (1,100,000 cu ft/s)
Creates Caruachi Reservoir
Total capacity 3,520,000,000 m3 (2,850,000 acre⋅ft)
Surface area 238 km2 (92 sq mi)
Power Station
Commission date 2003-2010
Turbines 12 × 180 MW (240,000 hp) Kaplan-type[2]
Installed capacity 2,160 MW (2,900,000 hp)
Annual generation 12,000 GWh (43,000 TJ)

The Caruachi Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Caroní River in Bolivar state, Venezuela. The dam supports a hydroelectric power facility with a 2,160 megawatts (2,900,000 hp) capacity. The facility is located about 59 kilometres (37 mi) downstream from the Guri Dam belonging to the "Central Hidroeléctrica Simón Bolívar" and about 35 kilometres (22 mi) from where the Caroni and Orinoco rivers meet at Ciudad Guayana.[3]

The dam[edit]

The first of the 180-megawatt (240,000 hp) Kaplan turbine-generators General Electric supplied for the project began commercial operation in April 2003; the 12th and final unit entered service on February 28, 2006,[4] and entered into formal/fully commercial operation on 31 March 2006, when the project was officially inaugurated.

The total installed capacity is 2,160 MW and the power plant will produce about 12 TW·h annually.

This project is formed jointly with the Central Hidroeléctrica Simón Bolívar in Guri, Antonio José de Sucre in Macagua and Manuel Piar in Tocoma (under construction), the development of Lower Caroní River hydroelectric resources and one of the world's largest hydro projects now in construction, that, when completed, EDELCA (Electrificación del Caroní CA) claims will save Venezuela the equivalent of 750,000 barrels of oil per day, compared to 300,000 currently.[2]

Design and construction[edit]

The contract for the design, supply and installation of the main electro-mechanical equipment was awarded to a consortium of Kvaerner of Norway, GE Energy of Canada, and Elin Transformatoren GmbH of Austria. Major work began on the project in 1998.[4]

Following GE's acquisition of Kvaerner's hydro business in 1999, over 90% of the Caruachi contract was carried out by GE Hydro, including all aspects of the design, supply and installation of the turbines, generators, governors, exciters and cranes. A total of 12 Kaplan turbine-generator units, each capable of a power output of 180 MW, were supplied to the project.[2]

ABB of Switzerland won three contracts to provide the power transmission system for the project. A 400 kV substation and four related 400 kV transmission lines connect the plant with the country's transmission network.

Alstom Power was awarded the contract for distributed control system and SCADA, and small electrical auxiliaries like UPS equipments and DC distribution boards.

The original GE Hydro and Elin contracts were, through several mergers and acquisitions, transferred to the 2005-created Andritz Hydro of Austria. While the original Alstom contract was in 2014 inherited by a new GE Renewable Energy entity.


A main concrete 360 metres (1,180 ft) gravity dam has a maximum height of 55 metres (180 ft) from its foundations, with an integrated intake structure and powerhouse.

A 900 m right-abutment rockfill closure dam has a concrete slab face and a maximum height of 50 m, and a 4,200 m left-abutment earth and rockfill closure dam has a maximum height of 45 m.

A spillway with nine spans and radial surface gates has an aggregate 30,000 cubic metres per second (1,100,000 cu ft/s) flow capacity.

A 470 metres (1,540 ft) powerhouse is integrated with the main dam with space for 12 generating units (360 m) and an assembly bay of 110 metres (360 ft).

Two transition dams have a 50-metre (160 ft) intermediate buttress between the powerhouse and spillway. The 238 square kilometres (92 sq mi) reservoir has a normal operating elevation of 91.5 metres (300 ft) above sea level.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dams - Caruachi". Covenpre VENCOLD. Archived from the original on 2 February 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Caruachi Hydroelectric Power Plant, Venezuela". Power Technology. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  3. ^ Official site of EDELCA and the Caruachi Project Archived October 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., published 2007, accessed 2007-11-23
  4. ^ a b "Venezuela's Caruachi hydro plant inaugurated". Power Engineering International. 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 

External links[edit]