Location of Caruachi Dam in Venezuela
|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|
|Height||55 m (180 ft)|
|Length||5,728 m (18,793 ft)|
|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)|
|Total capacity||3,520,000,000 m3 (2,850,000 acre·ft)|
|Surface area||238 km2 (92 sq mi)|
|Turbines||12 × 180 MW (240,000 hp) Kaplan-type|
|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.
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, 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.
Design and construction
The contract for the design, supply and installation of the main electro-mechanical equipment was awarded to a consortium of Kvaerner of Norway (Kvaerner's hydro interests since acquired by General Electric (GE)), GE Energy of America and Elin Transormatoren GmbH of Austria. Major work began on the project in 1998.
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. The 180 MW Kaplan turbine-generators are among 12 GE Hydro units for the Caruachi project.
ABB 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.
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.
- "Dams - Caruachi". Covenpre VENCOLD. Archived from the original on 2 February 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "Caruachi Hydroelectric Power Plant, Venezuela". Power Technology. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
- Official site of EDELCA and the Caruachi Project Archived October 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., published 2007, accessed 2007-11-23
- "Venezuela's Caruachi hydro plant inaugurated". Power Engineering International. 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-20.