The World Bank’s International Finance Corp. (IFC) is considering an application to help finance two small hydro projects proposed for Colombia’s Guadalupe River Basin.
IFC said its board is expected to act in May on loans totaling US$15.5 million to help construct the 9.5-MW Caruquia and 9.8-MW Guanaquitas projects in Antioquia Department, 95 kilometers from Medellin. They are expected to begin operation in late 2009 and early 2010.
The project sponsor is Century Energy Corp., a Panama-based subsidiary of Colombia’s Helm Group. The project operating companies are to enter engineering-procurement-construction contracts with HMV Ingenieros, which also is wholly owned by the Helms Group.
IFC said the total project cost is estimated at US$43.7 million, US$21.5 million for Caruquia and US$22.2 million for Guanaquitas. It is to be financed with US$31 million of debt and a US$12.7 million equity contribution from Century.
The World Bank unit said it has been active in structuring bankable financing for the two run-of-river projects. Its contribution includes mobilizing long-term financing and project structuring; supporting a local sponsor, Helm; supporting small hydropower projects; and promoting environmental and social performance standards.
ï¿½By helping structure and demonstrate the viability of private sector investment in small hydropower projects, IFC is contributing to boosting investor interest in small hydros and thus aiding the Colombian government’s goal to further harness the country’s significant small hydro potential,ï¿½ IFC said.
The agency said the Caruquia and Guanaquitas will generate clean, emissions-free electricity from a renewable resource, helping mitigate climate change effects. It said land is being acquired through a voluntary process with no displacement of land owners, indigenous peoples, or cultural resources.
For information, contact David Petrie, Helm Investment Advisers, Carrera 11 No. 82-01, Piso 3, Bogota, D.C., Colombia; (57) 1-6235700; (57) 1-2365880.