EIB provides USD 211 million for clean energy generation project in Panama

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a USD 211 million loan to the two subsidiaries of the Gas de France-Suez Group holding the concession for the Dos Mares project, to develop three hydropower plants in western Panama.

EIB Vice-President Carlos da Silva Costa and Philippe Delmotte, Executive Director of the Gas de France-Suez Group for Central America, have signed the finance contract in Luxembourg.

The loan will part-finance theconstruction and operation of the Guanaca, Lorena and Prudencia hydropower plants on the Chiriqui river in western Panama. With a total installed capacity of 117.5 MW, the three plants will be integrated into the river’s existing hydroelectric system consisting of the Fortuna and Canjilones plants. The project will help to meet the rapidly growing electricity demand in Panama in an environmentally sustainable way using available water resources.

The EIB is granting this loan under the Sustainable Energy and Security of Supply Facility. The project meets the facility’s requirements inasmuch as it is located in Latin America and is aimed at strengthening energy security on the basis of a renewable resource. 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 2 to finance the widening of the Panama Canal.

At this time of economic downturn, the EIB is pressing ahead with its financing operations in Latin America to ensure that viable eligible projects are not jeopardised.

The EIB (European Investment Bank) is the EU’s long-term financing institution promoting European objectives. Created in 1957, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and more than 130 countries in Asia and Latin America, central and eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean region, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. It provides loans outside the European Union in the framework of the EU’s development assistance policies.

The Sustainable Energy and Security of Supply Facility is a multiannual EUR 3 billion credit line designed to finance projects in developing countries that contribute to the achievement of sustainable energy and security of the energy supply. Latin America is one of the regions eligible for financing from this credit line, which is used in cases where the EIB does not need the European Commission’s guarantee to mitigate the political risk and safeguard its high credit rating.