Statement issued by EPM:
16 May 2019 | Paris, France | World Hydropower Congress
EPM renews its strong commitment to the construction of the Ituango Hydroelectric Project
Within the framework of the World Hydropower Congress, held in Paris, EPM declares its commitment to completing the construction of the Ituango Hydroelectric Project, the largest and most important power generation project that has been undertaken in Colombia, with an installed capacity of 2,400 megawatts.
EPM throughout its history has worked for the development of the territories where it operates, delivering quality public services, contributing to economic growth, promoting sustainability, and generating positive and balanced social, environmental, and economic outcomes.
The activities that we are carrying out in this territory of the country are an expression of what has inspired us throughout our 64-year history: to ensure the development of communities and the protection of the environment.
This is why the Ituango Project has been conceived beyond engineering as a regional development project. Ituango represents an opportunity to: boost employment, to improve roads and other infrastructure, to invest in educational and sports facilities, to develop productive projects. It promotes positive changes in a social and cultural environment that has traditionally been forgotten.
This is one of the main reasons why we will continue to implement our best efforts to avoid, mitigate, or compensate any negative impacts on people and the environment resulting from the contingency occurred in April /2018. In parallel EPM will continue to focus on adopting state of the art technical solutions that will allow us to start the operation of the plant by the end of 2021.
With our participation in the World Hydropower Congress, we wanted to provide firsthand account to the international community on the situation at Ituango and with respect to our commitment to satisfactory completion of the project. We also want to express our gratitude for the important support that we have received from so many stakeholders, as well as for the frequent demonstrations of interest and offers of support throughout this difficult period in which we have been working hard to get ahead and overcome the different technical, environmental, social, and financial challenges resulting from the contingency.
The Ituango project is fundamental to Colombia and to the region in the coming years, as it will guarantee the country’s energy security. The project will generate the energy necessary to foster economic growth, the expansion of jobs and employment opportunities, and the consequent improvement of livelihoods in Antioquia and throughout our country. Overcoming the contingency and moving forward with its construction will significantly contribute to the strengthening of the hydroelectric sector providing important lessons and experiences that, through our dedication and humbleness, we would transparently share with future generations.
Although projects of this type carry intrinsic risks that may materialize as we have seen in Ituango, we believe that it is also possible to manage their impacts in order to achieve a range of important benefits resulting from the reliable generation of clean and cost effective renewable energy.
At EPM, we see hydropower as one of the viable alternatives to promote the achievement of ever-increasing climate targets. At the same time, we participate enthusiastically in the advances that are taking place in non-conventional renewable generation to diversify and complement our energy matrix.
Through its vision and corporate activities, EPM contributes to the sustainability of the planet. Hydroelectric projects as well as other infrastructure systems conceived and developed based on the knowledge and respect for communities and the natural resources, are part of a path towards the construction of a sustainable future for all.