Chavimochic is going and (…) will mean the launch of a project that will invest more than US$750 million and will benefit all families in the north of the country. Works of high architecture and, above all, engineering are going to be carried out. It will generate 40 thousand hectares and thousands of jobs for the La Libertad region and all other regions.“, he indicated in a press conference.

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What the official did not specify was that the project will be built in two stages: the first is the Palo Redondo dam and the Virú siphon, through G2G, and the second is the mother canal, which will be executed by the Regional Government of Freedom. That is, the delivery of the canal that will transfer the waters from the dam to the new 40 thousand hectares is not linked to the G2G, but to the progress of the Regional Government of La Libertad.

It is a political statement. It is correct to say that it is a first step to resume the project that was left unfinished and there was no clear route. So, more than an inaccuracy in his statements, he gave a political message”explained Juan José Cárdenas, partner at Damma Legal Advisors.

In parallel to G2G, the mother channel would be executed through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

The canal is going to be done as a PPP and the award will be carried out by Proinversión. We estimate that next month we should have a preview of the draft of the project”said Jhon Cabrera, manager of the manager of the Chavimochic Special Project (PECH).

This situation implies that the US$750 million mentioned by Otárola will not be executed in its entirety in the G2G, but rather a lower amount not yet specified. The main investment is in the completion of the Palo Redondo dam works, which when the concession contract was signed in 2013 required an investment of US$356 million. During the three years in which the concession was operated by the Chavimochic Consortium, then made up of Odebrecht and Graña y Montero, around 65% of it was advanced. No investment was made in the works of the mother canal.

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Based on this, there is still a pending investment of at least US$124 million to complete the Palo Redondo works, as well as around US$394 million of other works that have not yet begun and that correspond to both the G2G and the APP. The amounts could be updated because eleven years after the first concession was signed, irrigation technology and methods have been updated. Furthermore, before launching the G2G competition, the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri) carried out an expert opinion to verify whether the works showed deterioration.

The G2G is going to improve the irrigation of the existing hectares and provide some additional water to Trujillo, but the truth is that a central part is being left out: the pipeline that will take the water to the additional 40,000 hectares. Each hectare can cost US$50,000 at the time of sale and this is taking a while”, questioned Luis Miguel Castilla, former Minister of Economy and Finance.

The period of preliminary studies of the APP to award the mother channel could take around a year. According to Cabrera, if the PECH schedules are met, the competition could be held in December 2025.

The channel route has been updated and there are no interferences in that sense. Nor will it be happening around the Reconstruction works, today the National Infrastructure Authority. For this reason, we hope that the contest will be held at the end of 2025. We are doing the necessary work to meet our schedule. The Palo Redondo dam has already been awarded and we cannot be left behind”said Cabrera.

El Comercio contacted the Midagri press area, but until the closing of this report it did not receive a response.

Earrings

For Ronald Fernández Dávila, partner of the PPU studio, the construction of Chavimochic III through two separate projects is not the ideal solution, but it is a positive option for the Government to make the paralyzed megaproject viable. He stressed that now the priority must be to determine how the operation and maintenance of the works built through G2G will be carried out.

The problem with division is that you will not have the projects at the same time. We will have the dam, but not the canal. You cannot have a different concessionaire in the dam and another in the mother canal. What they have to do is a PPP process that arrives as soon as possible and that specifies that the new concessionaire will be in charge of maintaining and operating the infrastructure that will be left by the Government of Canada.“, he claimed.

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This situation would open a second flank, explained Camilo Carrillo, Associate Partner of Infrastructure at EY Peru, since the costs of the operation and maintenance contract would rise. “The concessionaire would assume work that it has not done. So it will be more expensive”, he questioned.

He added that although he does not agree with the project being carried out in two stages, the departure of the Government “is the most realistic” to move Chavimochic III forward at this juncture.

The mother channel is a complex job to do. If the Government’s decision was to do the project as G2G, it should have covered everything”, he remarked.

For his part, Cárdenas highlighted that speed is needed in the progress of the mother channel. He added that if there were delays from the PECH or the Regional Government of La Libertad in the proposed deadlines, a situation could arise like that of the Chinchero Airport in which the execution of works cannot advance due to delays by the regional authority and not by the government. in charge of G2G. “In a few years it could be the case that the dam is there, but not the mother canal, as in Chinchero. But here we have to see the experience of Canada, which will serve to advance”, he concluded.



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