Costa Rica utility studies 631-MW El Diquis

Costa Rica’s government utility expects to spend the remainder of this year on environmental, geological, and geotechnical studies of the 631-MW El Diquis hydroelectric project planned for the General Superior River.

Citing project documents from Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Business News Americas said ICE plans to begin the participation and consultation process for the project by the end of the year. That phase should be complete by mid-2009, with construction preparations seen in late 2009 or early 2010.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) approved a US$1.5 million loan to Costa Rica in December 2006 for additional studies to complement earlier feasibility studies of the US$979 million project once named Boruca-Veraguas. (HNN 1/2/07)

El Diquis, in Costa Rica’s Grande de Terraba River Basin, is one of several Central American �mega-infrastructure� projects that IADB recommended in 2006 to stimulate social change throughout the region. (HNN 11/20/06) ICE said the project is located in one of the less-developed parts of the nation and is to improve socio-economic conditions while complementing regional electricity system integration.

Andean lender funds Costa Rica hydro, telecommunications

Latin American development lender Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) approved a US$100 million loan to ICE July 9 to support Costa Rica’s investment plans in electricity.

CAF said the loan is to advance the Costa Rica utility’s strategy to harness its advantages in hydroelectric power and to provide advanced telecommunications technology.

CAF President Enrique Garcia said the loan approval will help fortify the public sector as fundamental actor in Costa Rica’s sustainable development. Electricity demand in the country has exceeded expectations, increasing about 5 percent per year.

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