Channel 7 News
May 8, 2006
The new dam is planned for the Vaca area on the Macal River, about 6 miles from the Chalillo site.
BECOL, Belize’s Canadian owned
hydroelectric company, is getting ready to build another dam. The new
dam is planned for the Vaca area on the Macal River, about 6 miles from
the Chalillo site.
According to the proposal, Vaca will feature a dam face that’s 200
feet high, a storage reservoir that will inundate about 150 acres of
forestland and a powerhouse which will produce 18 megawatts of energy.
That’s more than twice what Chalillo which is mainly a water storage
facility puts out, but still less than Mollejon which produces 25
As BECOL, envisions it, Vaca is the third and final stage of a
hydroelectric scheme on the Macal River that started in the mid 90’s
with Mollejon. According to BECOL’s Vice-President of Operations
Stephen Usher, the project is estimated to cost around US$50 million.
Though this dam promises to inundate a very much smaller area than
Chalillo, an environmental battle can still be expected. Those who want
to judge for themselves can see the environmental impact assessment at
the Fisheries Department or the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City or
the main public libraries in Belmopan or any town.
But not even Vaca, were it completed, could have helped BEL last
night at 8:03 p.m. when the bottom fell out of the national power grid.
That happened because a fault occurred on the supply from CFE in
Mexico, which caused the entire national grid to trip, resulting in a
nationwide blackout. It would be 54 minutes before BEL managed to
restore power nationally, using diesel and hydroelectric sources.
Categories: Chalillo Dam