German contractor Hochtief has been awarded a 70% share in a €215 million (US$ 280 million) contract to build a hydropower project in South America.

Hochtief, together with a partner, will work on the construction of the Alto Maipo hydropower plant near Santiago in Chile. Plant owner Chilean energy utility provider AES Gener awarded the contract.

Hochtief will start work on the 513 MW Alto Maipo plant in 2013, with construction scheduled for completion in 2017.

The project spans two complex construction lots in the Andes, approximately 30 km southeast of Santiago at a height of 2,500 m. The build will include a total of 18.5 km of tunnelling and a 5 km steel pipeline. In addition, the consortium will take over execution planning.

The Alto Maipo contract is Hochtief’s third such win in South America’s energy infrastructure segment, following La Confluencia in Chile, which was completed in 2011, and the Cheves hydropower plant currently under construction in Peru.

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