Bolivia's President Evo Morales Wednesday attended the signing of an accord with a Chinese firm for the building of a hydroelectric plant in central Cochabamba department's city of San Jose.
China's Sinohydro signed the deal with Bolivia's Corani Electric Company, an affiliate of the National Electricity Company (ENDE), to build the plant that will produce an additional 124 megawatts for the national power grid, the National Interconnected System (SIN).
Morales said the whole project will be developed in three stages through 2018, with an estimated investment of 235 million U.S. dollars.
"In total, the 235-million-dollar investment in the department of Cochabamba is guaranteed to generate energy for the department and all Bolivia," said Morales.
The government aims to consolidate the nation's electric power infrastructure by 2020, so it can meet domestic demand and generate up to 1,000 extra megawatts for export.
"Thanks to this new hydroelectric plant, Cochabamba will continue to be Bolivia's No. 1 generator of energy," said Morales.
The plant project, expected to be operational by 2018, includes building a reservoir, a network of roads and three tunnels, among other infrastructure.
The first phase is expected to cost 124 million dollars. The second phase, still in the bidding process, will cost 80 million dollars, and the remaining budget is earmarked for the building of electrical substations in the third and final phase.