An industrial complex comes into being in one of the world's most remote regions. On?
An industrial complex comes into being in one of the world's most remote regions. On the edge of the "Los World" - made famous in Arthur Conan Doyle's novel - Venezuela builds a community that will eventually include a city of 85,000 people, South America's largest steel plant, a power project and other installations.
Thousands of labourers are rushing completion of the steel mill being built at a cost of 360 million dollars, the first section of which will be in production this autumn. It will make seamless pipe - vital to Venezuela's oil industry - in a plant powered by the first of six 50,000 kw turbines operating at nearby Macagua Dam, now also under construction.
The entire complex is expected to be completed by 1960, including housing for the 85,000 people expected to be living in the community when all phases are in operation.
The Caroni project insures full development of Venezuela's mineral deposits, now centered in the "iron mountain" activities at Cerro Bolivar. Iron ore for the new steel mill comes from here - 75 miles from the new community. Orinoco Mining Company is literally scooping tons of rich ore from the surface of the mountain. Other sources for ore are Bethelem Steel's El Pao concession, twenty miles south of Puerto Ordaz, and the newly opened El Trueno deposit.
Tons of water having its source in the 14,000 square mile area south of Puerto Ordaz thunders down the rapids of the Caroni River, near the site of the Macagua Dam, a 36,000,000 dollar installation.
Powerful machinery moves earth and construction equipment, the penstocks and sides of the huge dam take shape as curved steel pipes are installed. A steel mill comes into being and massive equipment is installed - soon to produce seamless pipe for Venezuela's oil industry.
The "Lost World" lies south of Puerto Ordaz, a 14,000 square mile area of 6,000 foot plateaux and rolling hills, where gold, diamonds, bauxite, lead, titanium and nickel have been discovered. The elevation of the region makes it suitable for settlement. There are numerous waterfalls, including the highest on earth, Angel Falls (3,212 feet). There is already a trickle of tourists and prospectors to the region.
The completion of the Puerto Ordaz industrial complex and the projected highway south to the Brazilian border are expected to bring abut a boom influx of settlers to the entire area of southwest Venezuela.