Panama regulator sees capacity meeting demand through 2009

A Panama regulator predicts sufficient hydropower and thermal generating capacity will come on line in 2008 and 2009 to meet rising demand estimated at 6 percent per year.

Administrator General Victor Urrutia of the Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos (Asep) said December 2 that 162 MW of hydropower and 132 MW of thermal power are expected to come on line in the period. That would increase the nation’s installed capacity to 1,694 MW from 1,400 MW. Current maximum demand is 1,024 MW, Asep said.

Urrutia said Asep has done everything in its power to rescue power projects that were not advancing and to promote investment in construction of hydroelectric projects. (HNN 7/3/07)

The executive said in the next year 36 MW will be brought on line by the Panama Canal Authority, plus another 10 MW in Concepcion and 43 MW in Balboa. In 2009, he said, Balboa will start up another 43 MW, while company Termica del Caribe will launch 49 MW and Generadora del Atlantico will start up 113 MW.

In November, Asep awarded a concession to Alternegy to build and operate the 54-MW Prudencia hydroelectric project on the Chiriqui River in Chiriqui Province, Business News Americas reported. Earlier in the year, Alternegy won a concession to build and operate the 35-MW Lorena project on the Chiriqui.

Asep also received applications for hydropower concessions for three hydro projects totaling 13.3 MW and invited competitors to file applications.

Hidroelectrica San Andreas submitted a request to develop 3-MW Gariche 2, while Hidroelectrica Santo Domingo filed to develop 5-MW Gariche 3. Both are on the Gariche River in Chiriqui. Generadora Rio Piedra submitted a request to develop 5.3-MW Mamoni on the Mamoni River in Panama Province.

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