Chile’s Endesa is awaiting a firm commitment from the Chilean government prior to signing an agreement for the construction of the Ralco hydro dam on the Bio Bio river.

A consortium headed by Fe Grande, Brotec and Andrade Gutierrez has submitted the best bid for the construction works. The construction contract is expected to be worth US$100M, while the overall investment by Endesa in the project will amount to US$500M.

The 570MW hydro plant is expected to be on line by February 2003. Ralco’s equipment is to be supplied by alstom at an estimated cost of US$60M.