Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lack of Electric Power Limits Development in Quetzaltenango

That capital of Quetzaltenango is missing out on opportunities to attract more industry due to lack of electric power.

According to the National Electrification Institute, the Municipal Electricity Company of Quetzaltenango is alloted 37 megawatts from the grid and actual consumption hovers around 32 to 35 megawatts. There is no more capacity for expansion.

The Chamber of Commerce reports that in recent years only a few small and medium industries have been founded in Quetzaltenango. There is not enough power for a factory. "If you decide to put in a heavy industrial factory such as a glass bottle plant that requires a big blower, it will consume a lot of energy. When they turn the circuit breaker for the blower on, it's half the power of Xela," said Manolo Veliz of the Chamber of Commerce.

Xelapán Bakery, which has 12 factories, has had to install special equipment to ensure the stability and quality of energy that reaches them, said Raul Ramirez, general manager of that company.

Alejandro Ximín, managing director of EEMQ, said the primary transmission lines to Quetzaltenango are 13,800 volts. According Ximín, a project to install 69,000 volt lines would help improve the power transmission but is still under study, and the cost would range from Q10 to Q12 million.

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