Panama’s 32-MW Bonyic hydropower plant begins commercial operations

Panama map

Panama’s 32-MW Bonyic hydropower plant has entered into commercial operation, according to a release from utility company Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM).

The US$314 million project is located on the Teribe River in Bocas del Toro province and will eventually house three Francis turbines — the remaining two of which are expected to come on line by the end of March

Bonyic is being developed by EPM subsidiary Hidroecologica del Teribe S.A., which will sell electricity generated by the plant to unnamed Panamanian distributors under a 15-year power purchase agreements.

EPM — based in Colombia — said it will use the international experience gained by working in Panama to “capitalize to apply in other countries”.

HydroWorld.com reported in December 2013 that Hydroecologica del Teribe had received up to $52.1 million in debt financing for the project from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and Corpoacion Interamericana para el Financiamento de Infaestructura S.A. The group also received a $20 million commitment from EPM.

The developer was awarded a 50-year concession from the Panama government to build, own and operate Bonyic in 1996.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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