Construction on Ecuador’s 1,500-MW Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric project is slated to begin by the end of the month after a months-long stalemate between the country and the Chinese groups financing 85% of the effort. Ecuador broke off discussions with Sinohydro in March over the terms of the $1.7-billion financing agreement but resumed talks after overtures from the Chinese government. The dam is on the Napo River, a tributary of the Amazon, about 75 miles east of Quito. Coca Codo is expected to supply up to 70% of Ecuador’s electricity needs, reducing its dependence on imported power.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.