BOGOTA – Colombia will sell geothermal energy to Ecuador to help the neighboring country avoid electricity cuts brought about by severe drought, the presidents of both countries said Saturday.
Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso said Colombia would provide 450 megawatts, helping Ecuador fill a 650-megawatt deficit due to low-producing hydro-electric plants amid the worst drought in 50 years.
The drought, which the government attributes to the El Nino weather pattern, has affected the eastern and southern regions where 90% of Ecuador’s hydro-electric plants operate.
Speaking at a press conference in Bogota alongside Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro, Lasso said the transfer would take place between November and December, when Ecuador is most likely to suffer drought.
“This will be done in the shortest possible time to help us face this blackouts problem,” he said.
The countries are evaluating payment options, including Ecuador potentially providing energy to Colombia once its drought ends.
Lasso said Peru would export another 50 megawatts to Ecuador, and Guayaquil business leaders with thermal plants have the ability to provide another 100 megawatts. Together with Colombia’s offer, the additions will cover most of Ecuador’s need.
“We’re going to fill the deficit of Ecuador’s energy demand,” Petro said.