Boats moored off the coast of Santa Cruz Island in Galapagos, Ecuador, on April 15. Photo: AFP
Cracks found in a Chinese-built Ecuadorian hydroelectric power plant do not affect its operation and safety, and the plant is safe for its 50-year design life. Some foreign media reports are trying to exaggerate the facts, the Chinese embassy in Ecuador told the Global Times on Wednesday.
The embassy’s response comes after several foreign media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, reported that Ecuador’s largest hydroelectric plant, the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant, could fail due to “thousands of cracks”. Done.
Since opening in 2016, state utility officials have found more than 17,000 cracks in the plant’s eight turbines, according to The Wall Street Journal. It blames defective steel imported from China.
Responding to questions from The Wall Street Journal, officials said cracks were unacceptable and could cause the equipment to lose its structural integrity and collapse.
Regarding the partial crack on the inner surface of the water distribution ring pipe of the hydropower project, the Chinese Embassy in Ecuador said that the problem was evaluated by the international third-party independent testing body TUV SUD and concluded that there was no impact. said. Operation and safety of the unit and that the plant will be safe over his 50 year design life.
“The report exaggerates the facts, evades the importance of the issue, and pushes several unrelated issues, such as the relationship between the construction and preliminary design of the power plant and subsequent river erosion, to affect people. The illusion that it is all the fault of Chinese companies,” the embassy said.
The Coca Cod Sinclair Hydroelectric Power Station is the largest hydroelectric power station ever built in Ecuador and is also a landmark project of bilateral cooperation between China and Ecuador. According to the embassy, the project has an installed capacity of 1.5 million kilowatts and an EPC contract value of $1.98 billion, most of which is funded by the China Exim Bank.
To date, the plant’s cumulative power generation has exceeded 40 billion kWh, accounting for more than 30% of Ecuador’s national power generation. It not only effectively relieves power demand, optimizes the national power structure, and brings light to thousands of households across the country, but also helps the country transform from a power importing country to a power exporting country and achieve foreign exchange acquisition. is also helpful. the embassy stressed.
At the end of 2018, the Chinese and Ecuadorian governments signed a memorandum of understanding on joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, further deepening practical cooperation in various fields between the two countries.
Boosted by strong bilateral ties and Chinese investment and financing, Chinese companies are actively developing strategic sectors such as power, transportation, oil and mining, as well as hospitals, housing, schools and other quality of life projects. actively participating. The embassy said it creates thousands of jobs each year and brings significant economic and social benefits to the country that have contributed significantly to Ecuador’s economic recovery and improved living standards.
Moreover, negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between China and Ecuador are progressing well, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning said at a press conference on Jan. 4.
The deal will give Ecuadorian exports preferential access to China and provide manufacturers in the South American country with lower costs for machinery and other products.