The Oxec II hydroelectric project, a complete 56 MW greenfield installation, is a key project supporting Guatemala’s mandate to energize the nation with clean power. Hatch was originally engaged to develop the project’s conceptual design, with scope later expanded to detailed design-build engineering. Oxec II success hinged on the constructability and economy of the design. Through Hatch’s optimization efforts, an alternative layout was proposed to reduce construction costs and improve design reliability. This approach was reflected in revising the diversion scheme, spillway design, intake block optimization, and overall construction methodology. The project faced numerous challenges, including unstable ground, frequent flash floods, and high seismicity, yet was completed on schedule and under budget. Additional risks associated with common high-magnitude flood conditions and in-water works were mitigated through a cellular cofferdam for river diversion, which had never before been constructed in Guatemala. Many of the features in the Oxec II project are unique in that region and have already set precedence for future projects. It also helped strengthen the country’s skills capacity, ensuring it is equipped for future ventures. The significant knowledge transfer impressed the jurors, who applauded how the project has become a prototype for future development of the country’s infrastructure.
Canadian Consulting Engineer article