AFRY, in consortium with Latinoconsult S.A., has won the contract to plan and supervise the rehabilitation and modernisation of the 200MW Acaray hydropower plant in Paraguay. 

The plant was commissioned in 1969 and is located in the department of Alto Paraná. The renovation and modernisation project is financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and is part of Paraguay’s state-owned power utility Administración Nacional de Electricidad (ANDE)’s 2021-2040 Generation Roadmap which aims to expand the hydro complex with the development of 19 small hydro projects, solar photovoltaic plants, hybrid and battery energy storage systems.

AFRY and its consortium partner Latinoconsult from Argentina will provide full services for the rehabilitation and modernisation of the Acaray hydropower plant with the aim of extending its lifecycle, improving its availability and reliability, and increasing its electrical generation capacity. The first phase of the project will last approximately 20 months, during which AFRY will review previous studies and design technical solutions that will be tendered and ultimately implemented during the second phase of the contract, which will take place over the following 40 months. During the execution of the rehabilitation work, AFRY will supervise the contractors on site and verify the technical and social-environmental compliance of the project.

As hydropower is the main source of clean energy in Paraguay, the 200MW Acaray–Yguazú complex is one of the most important power plants to meet the country’s growing energy demand and to accelerate the sustainability transition. Therefore, it is essential to modernise and further improve the power generation infrastructure with state-of-the-art technology, security systems, monitoring instrumentation and emergency action plans, in order to guarantee the safety of neighbouring population centres and improve the sustainability of the electricity service by ensuring continuity and an increase in renewable energy.

During the official ceremony held in the presence of the President of the Republic of Paraguay, Mr Mario Abdo Benítez and the ANDE authorities, including its president, Eng. Félix Sosa and the executive team, Patrick Furrer, Country Manager of AFRY Chile, expressed his pride and satisfaction for the possibilities opened up by the signing of the contract. “We are proud to be able to deliver sustainable solutions and further improve energy generation infrastructure for the projects included in ANDE’s Master Plan for Generation Roadmap. This is one of the most important assignments for the modernisation and rehabilitation of hydroelectric power plants in Latin America, and at AFRY we believe this is the way forward when addressing the challenges of climate change and sustainability,” Furrer said.

With this project, ANDE not only fulfils its Master Plan but also confirms its primary role as a key state-owned company for the country’s development. “With the same vision as sixty years ago, today we are securing the hydroelectric energy system of the country once again, and we are also entering Paraguay’s photovoltaic potential market. Without slowing down our efforts after achieving our energy bonus and surplus, we are committed to working with a medium and long-term vision, always looking for better energy sources. The panels of experts consider the repowering of existing energy sources as the best alternative for greater energy availability according to cost-benefit and sustainability criteria. We are therefore at the forefront. With this project, we are preparing to restore our first hydroelectric power plant, which is still the only 100% Paraguayan so far," said ANDE's President, Eng. Félix Sosa.