Termopaipa power station

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Termopaipa power station (Central Térmica Termopaipa) is an operating power station of at least 350-megawatts (MW) in Tunja, Paipa, Boyacá, Colombia with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating. It is also known as Paipa V (Unit 5), Sochagota power station (Unit 4).


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Termopaipa power station Tunja, Paipa, Boyacá, Colombia 5.7682, -73.1472 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Unit 4, Unit 5: 5.7682, -73.1472

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - bituminous 39 subcritical 1963 2035 (planned)
Unit 2 operating coal - bituminous 72 subcritical 1975 2035 (planned)
Unit 3 operating coal - bituminous 74 subcritical 1982 2035 (planned)
Unit 4 operating coal - bituminous 165 subcritical 1999 2035 (planned)
Unit 5 cancelled coal - unknown 150 circulating fluidized bed

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 Empresa de Energía de Boyacá ESP [100.0%]
Unit 2 Empresa de Energía de Boyacá ESP [100.0%]
Unit 3 Empresa de Energía de Boyacá ESP [100.0%]
Unit 4 Empresa de Energía de Boyacá ESP [100.0%]
Unit 5 Empresa de Energía de Boyacá ESP [100.0%]


Termopaipa consists of four domestically-fueled, subcritical coal units built between 1963 and 1999.[1] The plant runs on bituminous coal.[2] A fifth unit (Paipa V) was proposed but never completed.

The Termopaipa plant is operated by Empresa de Energía de Boyacá SA. Units 1-3 are owned by Gensa, and Unit 4 is owned by STEAG and ContourGlobal.[1][3][4][2][5] In 2014 German company Alstom upgraded Unit 1 and increased its capacity to 39 MW.[6][7] The other units have the following capacities:

Unit 1 began operation in 1963,[6][3] Unit 2 in 1975,[3] Unit 3 in 1982,[3] and Unit 4 in 1999.[2][9]

In June 2022, it was reported that Gensa was planning to build solar-power generating capacity at the Termopaipa plant in order to "be more sustainable," although no news of retiring any of the coal-fired units was provided.[11]

In May 2023, Gensa signed a collective labor agreement with the Paipa Branch of the Colombian Energy Workers Union, which intended to better the working conditions and employment benefits of the power plant's employees. [12]

Plans for a renewable energy conversion

In a December 2023 interview with Gensa's president, Henry William Cruz Casas, Casas stated that the company had plans to install a 50 MW solar farm at the power station, as well as invest in geothermal and "waste to energy" power projects at the same site.[13] According to Casas, the company anticipated financial and planning support from the national government to help facilitate the energy transition, which would include the dismantling of Termopaipa's coal-fired units in 2035.[13]

Proposed Paipa V expansion

In a June 2011 report entitled Visionando una nueva unidad para Termopaipa, Gensa (Gestión Energética S.A.) announced that it was undertaking feasibility studies and seeking environmental permits for a new 150 MW Unit V (known within the company as Paipa V) at the Termopaipa facility. In September 2013, Gensa reconfirmed these plans, stating that the company planned to invest US$250 million in the Unit V project, which it estimates will burn about 400,000 tons of coal annually. [14]

In its 2014 annual report (issued in March 2015) Gensa expressed hopes that Paipa V would receive the necessary environmental permit in 2015 so that the project could be included in Colombia's next national energy auction. Gensa’s 2015 Sustainability Report (Informe de Sustenibilidad 2015) confirmed the company's ongoing commitment to the Paipa V project, noting that Gensa would continue to invest in development of Termopaipa V and work with Colombia’s environmental authorities, with an eye towards including the project in Colombia’s next national energy tender.[15]

In January 2017, Gensa and Colombia's National Environmental Licensing Authority held a public hearing on the plans to build the new unit; about 700 people attended. Attendees complained about pollution from the existing units of Termopaipa, and called for Unit 5 to be built using strict environmental controls.[16][17]

CREG, Colombia's national energy regulatory agency, ultimately called off the anticipated 2017 energy tender, affirming that energy supply from existing plants and those already under construction would be sufficient to supply the country through November 2020.[18] Further complicating Termopaipa V's prospects, the Colombian government in September 2017 proposed procedural changes for future tenders that would likely pose economic challenges to traditional hydrocarbon-fueled plants[19], and in November 2017 announced a new national tender for solar and other renewable energy projects, to be held prior to the next presidential election in May 2018.[20]

As of January 2021 there has been no further news about Paipa V, and the project appears to be cancelled.

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "TermoPaipa Coal Power Plant Colombia," GEO, accessed April 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Sochagota: Power plant in Colombia". ContourGlobal. Retrieved 2023-01-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Gensa". ANDEG. Retrieved 2022-06-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "Energy security for Colombia". STEAG GmbH. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Annual Report 2021 (p 12)" (PDF). ContourGlobal. April 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Alstom signs a contract to upgrade Termopaipa thermal power plant in Colombia". Alstom. December 10, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Reunión de información del ajuste del Plan de Manejo Ambiental de la Central Termoeléctrica de Paipa Unidades I, II, III, inclusión Unidad V (p 6)". GENSA. 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Disposiciones Ambientales en la Operación de Centrales Termoeléctricas (p 5)" (PDF). ANLA. December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Termopaipa Power Plant". STEAG GmbH. Retrieved 2021-01-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "Informe de Sostenibilidad 2016 (p 209)" (PDF). GENSA. February 22, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. "Termopaipa Power Plant". STEAG GmbH. Retrieved 2021-01-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. "TERMOPAIPA SERÁ LA PRIMERA TÉRMICA A CARBÓN EN COLOMBIA EN OPERAR CON ENERGÍA SOLAR". Cosmos Radio.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Gensa finaliza un año de muchos retos y consolida grandes expectativas para el futuro, La Patria, December 12, 2023
  14. "250 millones de dólares invertirá Gensa en V Unidad de Termopaipa que generará 150 megavatios,", Periódico del Estado, September 26, 2013.
  15. "Documentos institucionales". GENSA SA ESP. Retrieved 2021-01-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. Los pros y contras de Termopaipa V, El Tiempo, 30 Jan. 2017.
  17. La quinta unidad será 'el renacer' de Termopaipa, El Tiempo, 13 Jan. 2017.
  18. "Gobierno no ve necesarias nuevas plantas generadoras de energía," El Tiempo, October 24, 2016.
  19. "Hay temor por el futuro de las termoeléctricas," El Tiempo, September 10, 2017.
  20. " Habrá subasta de energías no convencionales," El Tiempo, November 3, 2017.

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.