Electric company officials honor plant that keeps running

The generating station is a senior citizen by any standards. The Planta Alberto Echandi on the Río Barranca dates from 1909. It is in Baja Cambronero off the Interamericana Norte highway to Esparza and only 23 kilometers from the San Ramón de Alajuela intersection.

This is the machinery shed of the hydro plant with the pipeline carrying water for the turbine in the background. Photo: Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad

Despite its age, the plant has been providing uninterrupted service for 20 years, so electrical company officials held a ceremony there Friday.

The plant survived Hurricane Fifi in 1974 although it suffered heavy damage. It was reconstructed and resumed operations in 1990.

The plant is named after Alberto Echandi Montero, one of the founders of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad and father of Mario Echandi Jiménez, president from 1958 to 1962.

The plant provides power to about 10,000 persons in the area.

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