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Bajo Frío reservoir and headrace canal | Photo: Jørn Stave, Multiconsult

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Reforestation at Bajo Frío | Photo: Jørn Stave, Multiconsult

Bajo Frío and Burica Hydropower Projects

Environmental Audit

Multiconsult conducted an environmental audit of the Bajo Frío and Burica hydropower projects in Panama. The two projects are run-of-river schemes located on the Chiriquí Viejo River close to the border with Costa Rica. The Bajo Frío power station (58 MW) was in early operation phase, while the Burica project (63 MW) was still at planning stage. Multiconsult was tasked to verify compliance with national requirements and international safeguard policies and to evaluate the effectiveness of the environmental management system.

Scope of work

Multiconsult defined a set of audit criteria based on the regulatory requirements and the applicable environmental standards as specified by the lenders and owner. The environmental performance of the two projects was then assessed through staff interviews and meetings combined with review of project documentation and a site inspection.

The audit findings and recommendations were presented in a standard audit report with performance, risk and priority scores for each audited item. The key issues included biodiversity conservation, revegetation and reforestation, environmental flows, and management of the contractors’ environmental performance.

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