'EIB will finance geothermal power production in Costa Rica' says President Hoyer visiting La Reventazon hydro scheme
10 January 2014
President Hoyer saw the impact of EIB support for renewable energy in Central America at first hand during a visit to the Reventazon hydropower project in Costa Rica. The 310 MW power plant and dam is two-thirds complete and will make a significant contribution to helping Costa Rica to become carbon neutral by 2021. The EIB has worked closely with national energy company ICE since 1993 and President Hoyer used his visit to formally agree a new USD 70m loan for expansion of the Las Pailas geothermal plant.
Costa Rica has invested in renewable energy since the 1960's and recognises the importance of investing in sustainable energy production that doesn't threaten the country's rich natural heritage.
Construction of the Reventazon scheme, the second largest current construction project in Central America after the Panama Canal, not only involves safeguards to minimise the environmental impact of the project and support education and social investment in local communities. The local area will benefit from a more sustainable economic future following completion of the project as 60% of the workforce has been recruited locally and trained in a range of construction skills that will allow workers with new skills and experience to find specialist work after the project is commissioned.
The importance of building on past experience to ensure the continued effective contribution of the EIB to long-term investment and successful project implementation across a range of sectors, including energy, transport and social infrastructure, were priorities agreed between during a meeting with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and President Hoyer.
The EIB has agreed to provide USD 230 million backing to support investment in hydropower, wind, geothermal and photovoltaic renewable energy schemes across Central America. The joint programme with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration will enable more than USD 500 million of investment in projects in six central American countries, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama.
President Hoyer is this week visiting three Central American countries to see the benefit and impact of recent EIB projects at first hand, discuss current and future EIB lending in the region and sign new projects.
The loan will part-finance the construction and operation of the Guanaca, Lorena and Prudencia hydropower plants on the Chiriqui river in western Panama. This is the EIB’s sixth operation in Panama, where it has now lent a total of EUR 719 million, including in particular USD 500 million to finance the widening of the Panama Canal.