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Peaceful protest of powerlines Friday PDF Print

Area of location of the towers
Area of location of the towers
By Roy McNet

A boat and lancha parade will be held at 8 a.m. Friday to demonstrate opposition to a proposed powerline project developed by the TRECSA corporation to supply an enormous power supply to the El Estor mining operation. (Click HERE for larger image).

Boaters are asked to assemble near Bird Island at 7:45 a.m.

Panoramic rendition of powerline crossing
Panoramic rendition of powerline crossing
The parade, which has attracted the attention of several national and international news media providers, will proceed from the bridge to Castillo San Felipe to express opposition to the project which is considered poorly planned in consideration of environmental and tourism factors.

Those in opposition to the project say the enormous 65 meter towers and 660 meters of cables crossing the river will destroy the view of the river and Castillo from the bridge.

Architect rendition
Architect rendition
Property owners on both sides of the river are in opposition to the project, citing health hazards as well as intrusion onto their property without permission.

And, it is not clear how much clearance there will be for sailboats passing underneath the cables. One graph indicated a clearance of only 23 meters which would be difficult, if not very dangerous, for larger sailboats. Another source cited 60 meters, which would be more than enough.

But if the clearance isn't enough, the project will have devastating effects on marinas such as Tortugal and Nutria as well as Abel's boatyard, not to mention access to the beautiful sailing area of Lago Izabal.

TRECSA is reported to be a subsidiary of the Empresa Electrica de Bogota and this is one of their first projects in Central America.

Eugenio Gobbato, president of Eco-Rio, and John Brandes of Rio Dulce Marina are urging those in opposition to the project to help financially with legal action to stop or change the project. A temporary injunction was filed in court to delay the construction of the powerline project while additional discussions could be held. However, a formal injunction has not yet been approved.

Why not UNDER the river?
Why not UNDER the river?

A suggestion has been made to run the power cables beneath the river in sealed concrete casings, eliminating the visual impact of the powerlines. That suggestion has not received a positive response from the project engineers.

Proposed powerline crossing of Rio Dulce
Proposed powerline crossing of Rio Dulce
John Brandes noted in a post on the Rio Dulce Forum, "The plan as we understand it is that towers similar to the ones shown in the image below will be constructed on the West side of the river at a location between Tortugal Marina and Nutria Marina and on the east side just south of Captain John & La Joya del Rio Marina (Susanna's Laguna Marina). The yellow line on the Google Map image above indicates the approximate point of crossing the Rio Dulce.”

Click HERE for larger image.

More info HERE.

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