Latin banks finance Nicaragua renewables including hydro projects

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), and other lenders have approved US$381 million in financing for a Nicaragua renewable energy project that includes rehabilitation of two hydroelectric projects and development of other renewable energy projects including hydropower.

IADB said procurement still must be defined under the National Sustainable Electrification and Renewable Energy Program (PNESER). IADB, CABEI, and the European Investment Bank previously agreed, in 2008, to co-finance total investment of more than US$118 million in Nicaragua, with an emphasis on renewable energy, transmission, and rehabilitation of hydroelectric projects. (HydroWorld 5/22/08)

The first phase of PNESER lending, approved in July, includes US$30.5 million from IADB and US$24.5 million from CABEI for rehabilitation and modernization of the 50-MW Centroamerica and 50-MW Santa Barbara hydroelectric projects. Nicaragua utility Empresa Nicaraguense de Electricidad (Enel) took bids in June to provide equipment and civil work for rehabilitation of the projects, on Nicaragua’s Viejo River. (HydroWorld 6/3/10)

The PNESER program plans to increase provision of electricity to 85 percent of Nicaragua, compared to the current 66 percent. It is to involve delivering power to 3,666 communities. In total over four years, IADB is to provide US$75.5 million, CABEI is to provide US$75 million, and co-financers are to provide the remainder to total US$381 million.

In addition to financing work on Centroamerica and Santa Barbara, the program contemplates investing millions of dollars in development of the 160-MW Tumarin hydroelectric project in the Grande de Matagalpa River Basin (HydroWorld 8/5/08) and the 17-MW Larreynaga project on the Cacao River. (HydroWorld 1/18/10) CABEI plans to invest US$252 million of the US$800 million needed to build Tumarin. CABEI took bids to supervise construction of Larreynaga in 2009. (HydroWorld 4/15/09)

The PNESER program also is to strengthen generation of other hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, and wind projects.

For information, contact Ministerio de Energia y Minas, Hospital Bautista, 1C al Oeste, 1C al Norte, Managua, Nicaragua; Fax: (505) 280-9516; E-mail: informacion@mem.gob.ni; Internet: www.mem.gob.ni.

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