Termopaipa power station

From Global Energy Monitor


Termopaipa power station is a 352-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Paipa, Boyacá, Colombia.


The undated satellite photo below shows the plant, which is near Paipa, Boyacá.

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Termo paipa consists of four domestically-fueled, subcritical coal units built in the following years:[1]

  • Unit 1: 39 MW (1963)
  • Unit 2: 74 MW (1975)
  • Unit 3: 74 MW (1982)
  • Unit 4: 165 MW (1999)

The operator is Empresa de Energía de Boyacá SA. Units 1-3 are owned by Gensa, and Unit 4 is owned by STEAG and ContourGlobal, who sell the power to Empresa.[1] In 2015 German company Alstom upgraded Unit 1 and increased its capacity to 39 MW.[2]

Paipa V

In June 2011, 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.[3] 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. [4]

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.[5] Gensa’s 2015 annual report 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.[6]

In an October 2016 interview, Gensa's General Manager Orlando Micolta confirmed that despite new regulatory challenges to coal power, Gensa continued to eye inclusion of the Paipa V project in the next Colombian national energy tender tentatively scheduled for the the second half of 2017. Mr. Micolta noted that Gensa was in the process of submitting requested documentation to Colombia's environmental authorities to demonstrate its compliance with environmental regulations and win approval of its environmental management plan for the Paipa V project.[7]

In January 2017, Gensa and the 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.[8][9]

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.[10] 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[11], 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.[12]

As of June 2020 there had been no further news about Paipa V and it appears to be shelved.

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Empresa de Energía de Boyacá SA, Sochagota SA
  • Parent company: Gensa; STEAG, ContourGlobal (Unit 4)
  • Location: Paipa, Boyacá, Colombia
  • Coordinates: 5.7682, -73.1472 (exact)
  • Status:
    • Unit 1: Operating
    • Unit 2: Operating
    • Unit 3: Operating
    • Unit 4: Operating
    • Unit 5: Shelved
  • Gross Capacity:
    • Unit 1: 39 MW
    • Unit 2: 74 MW
    • Unit 3: 74 MW
    • Unit 4: 165 MW
    • Unit 5: 150 MW
  • Type: Units 1-4; Subcritical; Unit 5: Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB)
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type: Bituminous
  • Coal Source: Domestic
  • Source of financing:

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