Latin bank considers funding for Bolivia’s Misicuni Dam

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) is considering a proposal to help finance construction of the 120-meter-tall Misicuni Dam multipurpose project in Bolivia’s Cochabamba Valley.

Project developer Empresa Misicuni previously requested bids from Italian and Bolivian firms to build the project, which has hydropower potential estimated at 120 MW. (HNN 12/15/08)

IADB announced it is considering a new proposal to provide a loan of US$43 million to the Misicuni Renewable Energy Hydroelectric Project. Components of the program, which is in the preparation stage, have not been determined.

Bolivia’s water minister announced in November the government would initiate construction of the Misicuni multipurpose hydroelectric project in December 2008. Empresa Misicuni had postponed bidding in September due to lack of Italian companies interested in the work.

Bolivia secured US$31 million in funding from the Italian government in May 2007, on the condition that an Italian firm would hold 51 percent of the development consortium.

Misicuni includes a 120-meter-tall, 512-meter-long dam; a 150 million-cubic-meter reservoir; 444-meter diversion tunnel; and a water treatment plant. When complete, the project is to provide water to the Cochabamba metropolitan area and is to irrigate more than 15,000 acres, in addition to the potential to generate hydroelectric power estimated at 120 MW.

Bolivia national utility Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (Ende) and South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corp. have signed an agreement to build a 120-MW hydro plant as part of Misicuni.

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