Mapfre Disburses $ 983.eight million by means of Colombia Dam – Enterprise Insurance

(Reuters) – Spanish insurer Mapfre signed a contract on Friday for an emergency payout of $ 983.8 million to Colombian Empresas Publicas de Medellin over problems building the massive Hidroituango Dam.

The funds will guarantee the project can be completed, said Colombian President Ivan Duque at an event marking the agreement, and will ensure the fiscal health of EPM and the city of Medellín.

Construction of the 2,400-megawatt Hidroituango Dam began in 2010 in Antioquia Province, but in April 2018 part of the infrastructure collapsed, forcing thousands of people to be evacuated and delaying completion of the project.

The agreement overturns a recent ruling by the Comptroller General that held 26 people – including centrist presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo, a former governor of Antioquia – responsible for $ 1.1 billion in damages for the project's delays.

"Today Hidroituango was saved," said Mr. Duque. "This is an important project for the energy security of our country."

Under the agreement, EPM will receive a payment of $ 633 million in January 2022, in addition to a previous payment of $ 350 million.

In July, EPM announced that the project would require an additional 2.1 trillion pesos ($ 538.4 million) to complete construction and have two power plants operational by the second half of 2022. Six more units are scheduled to go into operation between 2023 and 2025.

Investments in the project amount to approximately 18.3 trillion pesos (4.69 billion US dollars).

Mr Fajardo finished third in the first round of the Colombian presidential election in 2018. Although the comptroller general's sanction is now null and void, he is still at risk for embezzlement in the Supreme Court.

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