The Caruachi hydroelectric power facility is located on the Caroní River, in Bolivar state, Venezuela. The facility is located about 59 kilometers downstream from the Guri Dam belonging to the "Central Hidroeléctrica Simón Bolívar" and about 35 kilometres from where the Caroni and Orinoco Rivers meet at Ciudad Guayana.

The Caruachi dam

The first of the 180 MW Kaplan turbine-generators General Electric supplied for the project began commercial operation in April 2003; the 12th and final unit entered service on February 28, 2006, and entered into formal/fully commercial operation on 31 March 2006, when the project was officially inaugurated.

Caruachi hydroelectric power installed capacity is 2,160 MW and the power plant will produce about 12 TW·h annually.

This project form jointly with the Central Hidroeléctrica Simón Bolívar in Guri, Antonio José de Sucre in Macagua and Manuel Piar in Tocoma (under construction), the development of Lower Caroní hydroelectric resources and one of the world's largest hydro projects now in construction, that, when completed, EDELCA (Electrificación del Caroní CA) claims will save Venezuela the equivalent of 750,000 barrels of oil per day, compared to 300,000 currently.

Design and construction of Caruachi Hydroelectric Power

The contract for the design, supply and installation of the main electro-mechanical equipment was awarded to a consortium of Kvaerner of Norway (Kvaerner's hydro interests since acquired by GE), GE Energy of America and Elin Transormatoren GmbH of Austria. Major work began on the project in 1998.

Following GE's acquisition of Kvaerner's hydro business in 1999, over 90% of the Caruachi contract was carried out by GE Hydro, including all aspects of the design, supply and installation of the turbines, generators, governors, exciters and cranes. The 180 MW Kaplan turbine-generators are among 12 GE Hydro units for the Caruachi project.

ABB won three contracts to provide the power transmission system for the project. A 400 kV substation and four related 400 kV transmission lines connect the plant with the country's transmission network.


A main concrete 360 m gravity dam has a maximum height of 55 m from its foundations, with an integrated intake structure and powerhouse.

A 900 m right-abutment rockfill closure dam has a concrete slab face and a maximum height of 50 m, and a 4,200 m left-abutment earth and rockfill closure dam has a maximum height of 45 m.

A spillway with nine spans and radial surface gates has an aggregate 30,000 m³/s flow capacity.

A 470 m powerhouse is integrated with the main dam with space for 12 generating units (360 m) and an assembly bay (110 m).

Two transition dams have a 50 m intermediate buttress between the powerhouse and spillway. The 238 km² reservoir has a 91 m normal operating head.

Caruachi Dam
Locale Bolívar, Venezuela
Coordinates 08°09′36″N 62°47′55″W / 8.16°N 62.79861°W / 8.16; -62.79861 / 8.16; -62.79861
Construction began 1998
Opening date 31 March 2006
Construction cost US$2.1 billion
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Gravity dam
Length 360 m (1,181 ft)
Height 55 m (180 ft)
Impounds Caroni River
Spillway capacity 30,000 m3/s (1,100,000 cu ft/s)
Creates Caruachi Reservoir
Surface area 238 km2 (92 sq mi)
Power station
Type No
Turbines 12 × 180 MW
Installed capacity 2,160 MW
Annual generation 12,000 GWh