Nordic, Europe banks fund Latvia power, including 868.5-MW Plavinas

Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have approved loans for key investments in Latvia, including further rehabilitation of the 868.5-MW Plavinas hydroelectric project on the Daugava River.

NIB approved a 50 million euro (US$63.7 million) loan with 15-year maturity to Latvia national utility Latvenergo A/S to modernize utility generating capacity, in particular hydropower plants on the Daugava. Funds also will go to modernizing a combined heat and power plant and to upgrading transmission and distribution networks.

NIB said the main positive environmental effects from the three-year program include an increase in output from two turbine-generators at Plavinas as a result of replacing old turbines. In 2007, Alstom Hydro received contracts to refurbish several units at Plavinas. (HNN 3/15/07) Later that year, Latvenergo took bids to build a reserve spillway at the project. (HNN 6/26/07)

The Nordic bank said the program would reduce some nitrogen oxide emissions and reduce harmful substance leakage to the environment from the old hydropower turbines and transformer stations.

The European Investment Bank approved 600 million euros (US$765 million) for key investments in Latvia, including 100 million euros (US$127.5 million) for modernization of the power distribution network. It was the fourth EIB loan to Latvenergo since 1996, when EIB financed the rehabilitation of the Daugava hydro plants.

EIB awarded another 500 million euros (US$637.6 million) targeting social and economic infrastructure, education, training, promotion of entrepreneurship, transport, environment, and energy.

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