BCIE finances first natural gas plant in the region

AES Colon will be the first power generation plant based on liquefied natural gas in the region, and will begin operations in 2018. With this project, Panama’s energy matrix will be strengthened, providing stability with a firmer, competitive fuel and sustainability.

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) approved a $100 million loan to the AES Colon project for the development of the LNG-based plant to be built on Telfers Island, Colon. An important contribution is an additional amount of approximately $400 million that has been approved by other local and international financial institutions.

Natural gas plant.

Natural gas plant.

The AES Colón project consists of a generating plant with an installed power plant of 381 MW from natural gas and includes a re-gasification terminal with a capacity of 180,000 m3 of storage capacity. The first of its kind in Central America, this project marks a milestone in the development of electricity markets in the region for its low investment costs and operation, economy of scale and lower impact on the environment and that the levels of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) are 95% less compared to coal and 34% from bunker.

It is estimated that each year the Panamanian energy sector will have a demand increase of 6.5%, thanks to economic dynamism and growth of the population. Currently Panama’s energy matrix depends on 60% of energy sources of a not firm capacity. AES Colon brings the diversification and stability to the system with a source of strong and sustainable generation.

CABEI Executive President, Dr. Nick Rischbieth, said “the funding of this project of natural gas is supporting long-term investment in an industry such as the regional energy market and the capacity will increase installed power generation of Panama and be connected to the Electric Interconnection System for the countries of Central America.

Miguel Bolinaga, President of AES in Panama, said “This project allows us to contribute to growth with the conviction of more value to the energy market and improving the quality of life of people.”

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