Consortium takes majority interest in Mexican hydropower provider

WASHINGTON, D.C. 3/15/12 (PennWell) — ACON Latin America Opportunities Fund (ALAOF) has led a consortium of co-investors to secure a controlling stake in Hidrotenencias S.A.

ALAOF — an affiliate of ACON Investments LLC — heads the group, which also includes the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and Societe de Promotion et de Participation pour la Cooperation Economique (PROPARCO).

Hydropower developer Asergen S.C., has provided Hidrotenencias with technical and operational assistance, and the Woodbridge Group LLC acted as financial advisor.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Hidrotenencias owns three 10-MW run-of-river hydroelectric plants in the Chiriqui province of western Panama. The first plant started operating in 2008, while the remaining two are expected to begin operations by the end of this year, according to ALAOF.

“Latin America is a region of the world with a very high potential for hydropower generation,” ACON partner Jorge Dickens says. “Within Latin America, Panama is the fastest growing economy and one with limited access to fossil fuels.”

Hidrotenencias has also identified further areas of growth within Panama and other nearby countries, ALAOF says.

Panama’s hydroelectric potential hasn’t gone unnoticed by others either as Hydro Caisan recently announced work is progressing on its 67.2-MW El Alto facility earlier this year.

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