Latin bank funds include Mexico hydro assistance

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) approved US$3.3 million in funding for infrastructure projects in seven Latin American countries July 30, including a pilot project to manage environmental and social aspects of Mexico’s 750-MW La Yesca hydroelectric project.

IADB said the money for the programs is being allotted from the Infrastructure Fund (InfraFund), a US$20 million fund it created in 2006 to support identification, development, and preparation of bankable, sustainable infrastructure projects proposed by governments, semi-public entities, and private enterprises. (HNN 11/20/06) The US$3.3 million is to be complemented by US$1.8 million in local counter-part resources.

The Mexico funding includes US$200,000 in non-reimbursable technical assistance to help national utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) to assess and enhance its capability and performance in managing the environmental and social aspects of large hydroelectric projects.

IADB said the La Yesca project will benefit directly from the results of the assessment. It said the approach will treat the program as a pilot project in which the assessment of CFE will be a key element when conducting preparatory activities for funding future CFE power projects.

CFE took bids through July 31 for construction of La Yesca on the Santiago River at Hostotipaquillo in Jalisco State. La Yesca is to include a 220-meter-tall concrete-faced rockfill dam, a reservoir of 2.39 billion cubic meters, and an underground powerhouse containing two 375-MW turbine-generators. (HNN 2/28/07)

Other energy programs funded included: US$800,000 for Argentina to finance a plan to ensure economic and financial sustainability for the electricity sector in Entre Rios Province; US$500,000 for Costa Rica to help assess financial sustainability and corporate governance of utility Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad; and US$200,000 for Paraguay to help prepare a proposal for updating regulatory and institutional frameworks and modernizing corporate governance of the electric sector.

Operations previously funded by the InfraFund included US$400,000 for consultant preparation of small and mid-sized hydroelectric projects for Guatemala’s Instituto Nacional de Electrificacion. (HNN 3/20/07)

For information on InfraFund financing, contact Esteban Piedrahita, Senior Private Sector Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank, E-mail: estebanp@iadb.org; Internet: www.iadb.org/infrafund.

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