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February 14, 2012

CABEI to finance Hydroelectric Plant in Costa Rica with US$140 million

San José. - The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) signed a US$140 million loan for the expansion of the Cachí Hydroelectric Plant, which will provide the country with a new source of clean energy.

The "Cachí Plant Expansion Project" involves the design, construction and startup of a new 40 MW generating unit, as well as the exploitation of 20 MW of installed capacity, which cannot currently be used. Thus the plant’s present installed capacity will increase from 100 MW to 160 MW.

The project’s financing agreement was signed by CABEI’s interim Countries and Projects Manager, Ms. Hazel Cepeda, and the Financial Manager of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE1), Mr. Martín Vindas Garita.

The signing of the financing agreement was conducted in the presence of CABEI's Executive Vice President, Attorney Alejandro Rodríguez Zamora; CABEI’s Director for Costa Rica, Mr. Jorge Walter Bolaños; CABEI’s interim Countries and Projects Manager, Ms. Hazel Cepeda; CABEI interim manager in Costa Rica, Mr. Mauricio Chacón; the Executive President of ICE, Mr. Teófilo de la Torre Argüello; the Financial Manager of ICE, Mr. Martín Vindas Garita; and ICE’s Electricity Manager, Mr. Gravin Mayorga Jiménez.

In his speech, CABEI Executive Vice President Attorney Alejandro Rodríguez said that since its founding in 1960, CABEI has been committed to developing the energy sector and has financed approximately 120 energy infrastructure and generation projects in the region, amounting to more than US$2.9 billion.

"ICE has been a very important strategic partner for CABEI for investments in the Costa Rican energy sector. Its support has been essential for the development of priority projects. Our participation in this project together with ICE further reinforces the relationship that the two institutions have maintained since 1964, when the Bank provided its first financing for the institute’s projects," said the CABEI Vice President.
He noted that CABEI will provide direct financing of $US140 million for the project.

In addition, he explained that this project will generate 1,200 indirect jobs during its execution stage and will help generate savings of an average of US$42.4 million per year by displacing thermal energy.

Attorney Rodríguez added that, "CABEI is once again recognizing ICE’s extensive background and experience in the development and construction of energy generation projects, as well as the Institute's commitment to continue developing renewable energy projects."

The benefits of this plant will be enjoyed throughout the country, thanks to the transmission network that connects all energy generation plants with the principal consumption centers. Once expanded, the plant’s production will be equivalent to the power needs of a city of 330,000 inhabitants.

The CABEI Vice President stressed that the startup of the Cachí plant expansion will contribute to ensuring adequate electricity supply and increasing the reliability of the National Interconnected System.

The resources provided by CABEI will improve the country’s competitiveness, providing options for generating environmentally-friendly electricity and providing the region with a greater capacity for clean energy generation.

This Project is in line with CABEI's strategic axes of competitiveness and regional integration, which are part of the Bank’s 2010-2014 Institutional Strategy.

The project will be located on land owned by ICE in the province of Cartago, where the Cachí Hydroelectric Plant has been operating since 1962.


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