Termotasajero power station

From Global Energy Monitor


Termotasajero power station is a 333-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant Norte de Santander, Colombia.

Two additional units (Termotasajero III and IV) were announced in 2014 but cancelled in 2018.


The undated satellite photo below shows the plant in San Cayetano, near Cúcuta, Colombia.

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The plant is owned by Termotasajero S.A., a subsidiary of Colombian investment company Colgener S.A. Its 163 MW Unit I has been operating since 1984.[1]

Unit 2

In May 2011, company director Hernando Díaz Martínez announced plans to construct a US$330 million, 160-megawatt second unit at Termotasajero, contingent on a successful outcome in the late 2011 energy auction sponsored by Colombian regulatory agency Creg (Comisión de Regulación de Energía y Gas).[2]

In January 2012 Korean trading firm Hyundai Corporation secured a $300 million deal with Termotasajero S.A. to construct the plant, with a scheduled completion date 36 months after start of construction.[3]

In November 2012 the Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) was awarded a $60 million contract to design and supply a 180 MW coal-fired boiler for Termotasajero Unit 2 for South Korean contractor Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd. Plans called for delivery of the boiler by early 2014, and start-up of the new unit by late 2015.[4]

In an October 2014 interview with El Nuevo Siglo, Alejandro Castañeda, president of ANDEG (Colombia's national power generators' association), said that the second unit of Termotasajero was already 92% complete and on track for a December 2015 start-up date. Mr. Castañeda stated that the new unit would add 170 MW to Termotasajero's generating capacity[5], while other sources have reported Unit II's capacity at 160 MW.[6]

Termotasajero II successfully completed synchronization on November 2, 2015.[7] The plant came on-line in December 2015 and, after a month-long halt in operations due to equipment damage, resumed generating power at full capacity on 15 March 2016. [8][9]

Financing for Unit 2

In October 2012, a financing agreement for unit 2 was closed. Itau-Unibanco agreed to provide US$315 million in loans to the project.[10] In July 2018, a refinancing agreement for unit 2 was closed. Itau-Unibanco, Bancolombia, and Banco de Bogotá agreed to provide the project with US$216 million in loans.[11]

Units 3 and 4

Termotasajero has plans for two additional units at the plant: a 200 MW Unit III and a 250 MW Unit IV.[6] In June and July 2014, plant operator Termotasajero S.A. filed paperwork with Colombia's environmental licensing agency ANLA seeking to modify the plant's environmental permit to include a proposed coal-fired Unit III. The Unit III expansion was officially authorized under ANLA Resolution 1311 in October 2014.[12] The company reportedly hoped to begin construction of Unit III sometime in 2017.[8]

In an August 2016 interview with Revista Activa magazine, Termotasajero's Technical Manager Juan David Arango Vélez confirmed that the company was currently developing engineering plans and negotiating with construction companies, but that actual construction of Unit III would be contingent on the results of Colombia's next annual energy auction, tentatively scheduled for 2017. In October 2016 CREG, Colombia's national energy regulatory agency, called off the anticipated 2017 energy auction, affirming that energy supply from existing plants and those already under construction would be sufficient to supply the country through November 2020[13], and in 2017 Colombia's government proposed additional changes to its energy auction process that seem destined to favor renewable energy sources over traditional hydrocarbon-fueled plants such as Termotasajero.[14][15]

In May 2018 the project's sponsors announced the cancellation of Units 3 and 4 in a letter to the Colombian Mining Energy and Planning Unit (Upme).[16] The letter cited the government's apparent lack of interest in developing coal-power projects, declining interest among banks in funding coal projects, and the prospect of new taxes on coal consumption.[16]

In December 2018 Termotasajero briefly revived its plans to develop Unit 3, citing a three-year construction delay at the Hidroituango hydroelectric plant that appeared likely to create near-term energy shortages in Colombia.[17] However, Hidroituango's subsequent decision to enter Colombia's 2019 national energy auction threw cold water on Termotasajero's plans, given the government's previously stated preference for funding renewable energy projects.[18] Results of the energy auction published by CREG (Comisión de Regulación de Energía y Gas) in March 2019 show that Termotasajero did not enter the auction, while Hidroituango successfully negotiated a ten-year contract (2022-2032).[19]

Termotasajero S.A. appears to have abandoned its plans for Termotasajero Unit 3 and begun moving away from coal-fired power in general, as evidenced by the company's decision to participate in Colombia's second national renewable energy auction in 2019.[20]


On March 1, 2014, union workers protested for higher salaries as employees of the Termotasajero power station in Colombia.[21]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Termotasajero S.A.[1]
  • Parent company: Colgener S.A.
  • Location: San Cayetano, Cúcuta, Norte de Santander, Colombia
  • Coordinates: 7.8473, -72.6328 (exact)
  • Status:
    • Unit 1: Operating (1984)[1]
    • Unit 2: Operating (2015)[8]
    • Unit 3: Cancelled
    • Unit 4: Cancelled
  • Gross Capacity:
    • Unit 1: 163 MW[1]
    • Unit 2: 170 MW[1]
    • Unit 3: 200 MW
    • Unit 4: 250 MW
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: local coal mines
  • Source of financing: Unit 2: US$531 million in loans from Itau-Unibanco, Bancolombia, and Banco de Bogotá.[10][11]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Termotasajero". Andeg. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  2. "Termotasajero proyecta construir una segunda planta,", Portafolio.co, May 8, 2011.
  3. "Hyundai wins $300 mil. power plant order from Colombia," The Korea Times, Jan. 19, 2012.
  4. "B&W Awarded $60 Million Boiler Project in Colombia, South America". Business Wire. November 6, 2012.
  5. "Generadoras descartan desabastecimiento de energía". El Nuevo Siglo. October 21, 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Termotasajero S.A. E.S.P.," BNAmericas website, accessed October 2015.
  7. "사람과 공간 - 현대엔지니어링," Hyundai Engineering Magazine, Jan 11, 2016
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Termotasajero 2 entró nuevamente en funcionamiento," La Opinión, March 15, 2016
  9. "Colombia prepares to ration electricity," Argus Media, March 23, 2016
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Preview of Termotasajero Coal Power Plant Unit 2 (161.6MW) | Transaction | IJGlobal". ijglobal.com. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Preview of Termotasajero Coal Power Plant Unit 2 (161.6MW) Refinancing | Transaction | IJGlobal". ijglobal.com. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  12. "Resolución 0403" (PDF). ANLA. April 12, 2016.
  13. "Gobierno no ve necesarias nuevas plantas generadoras de energía," El Tiempo, October 24, 2016.
  14. "Hay temor por el futuro de las termoeléctricas," El Tiempo, September 10, 2017.
  15. " Habrá subasta de energías no convencionales," El Tiempo, November 3, 2017.
  16. 16.0 16.1 TermoTasajero III cancela su proyecto para la generación de energía, Cocier, Jun. 1, 2018
  17. "Termotasajero proceeds with coal-fired plant". Latin Finance. December 5, 2018.
  18. "EPM dobla la apuesta por Hidroituango". La Silla Vacía. February 12, 2019.
  19. "Resultados publicados por el administrador de la subasta para la asignación de obligaciones de energía firme del Cargo por Confiabilidad 2022-2023". CREG. March 1, 2019.
  20. "Los Solari apuestan por crecer con fuentes renovables en negocio eléctrico de Colombia". El Mercurio. September 15, 2019.
  21. "Atn Noticias - 01 Marzo Protesta Sindicato De Trabajadores De Termotasajero," ATN Televisión, translated by Google, 3 Mar. 2014

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