Adding height to a hydroelectric dam

Fortuna – Panama

Case study

In 2003 MegaSecur Environmental Security worked on the Edwin Fabrega hydroelectric dam. The dam is located on the west side of the country (40 miles north of Chiriqui) on the Rio Brazo de Hornito, a region that is known for heavy precipitations. Built in 1983, the Fortuna dam supplies 40% of the country’s electricity.

When torrential rains hit, the lower lateral part of the dam is regularly submerged disrupting the general functioning of the dam and the surrounding ecosystem.

The challenge was to supply a 6′-6″ high anti-flood barrier on top of that lateral portion to contain the rising water.

A 6′-6″ high by 200′ long barrier (4 X 50′ long Water-Gate®  barriers attached together) was delivered and installed by the dam’s workers in a dry zone area. The dam has been used since but never to its full capacity.

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