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The Dominican Republic's water resources authority (Indrhi) has signed an agreement to resume the building of Guaigüí dam on the river Camú for a total $65US.9mn, Indrhi announced in a statement.
The project will be financed by Dutch bank ABN Amro (NYSE: ABN) and a group of other banks from Scandinavian countries, an Indrhi communications executive told BNamericas.
Italian-Dominican consortium Impregilo-Yarull was awarded the contract to finish building the dam and the remainder of the project, which will cost $59US.5mn. Norwegian consultant Sweco Groner will be in charge of the final design of the project, in which $1US.3mn are to be invested, while project supervision will be in the hands of the Norwegian consultant Norpan AS for $5US.2mn, the statement said.
To resume construction, Indrhi was able to reactivate the $42US.5mn loan obtained previously, of which $23USmn were spent until 2003.
The institute also obtained a complementary amount of $23US.4mn to cover the cost increases in construction materials, final design and supervision. Of that total some $10USmn will be destined to relocating people that live in the area to be flooded, which was not considered in the previous project, the spokesperson said.
Construction will resume by mid-March and will take 29 months to finish, the Indrhi source said. Some of the project's already executed works include highways and a tunnel, but they will all be checked and re-conditioned if necessary, he said.
"This is a great step forward in President Leonel Fernández's government and for Indrhi management," the institute's executive director Frank Rodríguez was quoted as saying.
The project will guarantee the potable water supply to the city of La Vega, control flooding in the Camú river basin, supply irrigation for 5,000ha of land and generate 12.5 GWH of electric energy per year.
Norwegian construction company NCC began construction of the Guaigüí dam in 2002. But the company halted work in 2003, as it had discrepancies with the central government over project costs after an economic crisis that tripled the dollar's value. As no agreement was reached, the company refused to continue the works.
Numerous floods within the region made the execution of the project necessary and lead the government to focus its efforts in having it carried out.