MERNNR Works On Slowing Coca River Water Flow

(Energy Analytics Institute, 8.Jul.2020) — René Ortiz, head of Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources (MERNNR), CELEC EP General Manager Gonzalo Uquillas Vallejo, and Ecuador’s Hydrocarbon Vice Minister María Elisa Soledispa announced construction and incorporation of emerging ramps to decrease the water flow speed of the Coca River and mitigate the phenomenon of regressive erosion and protect the strategic infrastructures in the San Rafael sector, the provincial border between Sucumbíos and Napo.

Development of the emerging ramps and contracting process will begin, jointly with the Army Corps of Engineers and EP Petroecuador, once two of the three studies contracted by the Electricity Corporation of Ecuador (CELEC EP) have been received, EP PetroEcuador announced 8 July 2020 in an official statement, citing comments from Ortiz during a press conference with the other officials.

The plan developed by Ecuador’s national government to confront the natural phenomenon occurring in the Coca River consists of a two-phase project estimated to cost approximately $20 million.

In the first phase, studies of the Coca River were carried out and in the second half of July other work will be carried out and consisting of construction of rocky ramps and expansion of the river channel, which are expected to decrease the river’s water flow speed and mitigate the phenomenon of regressive erosion. The work will start on 15 July and last an estimated 90 days.

The second phase will begin in August with the contracting of the design of definitive work that will commence in October 2020 and consist of construction of artificial control points or resistant points, using injection or pilot screens and will be carried out over 240 days.

PROTECTING THE SOTE

Additionally, in order to prevent the work from possibly affecting EP PetroEcuador’s existing oil infrastructure in the area, technicians with the company will begin construction of a new variant of the Trans-Ecuadorian Pipeline System (SOTE) starting on 9 July.

At the moment, work is being carried out to install a plugging system which will help contain and evacuate 1,000 barrels of crude oil through four tankers and thus avoid environmental damage, EP PetroEcuador announced in the statement.

With an extension of 786 meters, the new variant will be built in the extreme south-east of the sector known as El Chicharrón, on the edge of the E-45 road. These works are expected to be completed within 15 days.

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By Piero Stewart. © Energy Analytics Institute (EAI). All Rights Reserved.

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