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Geothermal projects in Costa Rica to move forward with $500m loan by IDB signed into law

Carlos Alvarado, President of the Republic of Costa Rica signing the law, June 18, 2018 (source: Grupo ICE)
Alexander Richter 19 Jun 2018

With the new legislation signed on a $500 million credit line for Grupo ICE in Costa Rica, development of the geothermal projects of Las Paillas II, as well as Borinquen I and Borinquen II can progress.

In a ceremony yesterday, Carlos Alvarado, President of the Republic of Costa Rica signed a law that grants a $500 million credit line from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The credit line is for sustainable electricity projects, among them investments into the development of geothermal power plants, the promotion of electric transport, smart cities and digital solutions for public services, according to the CEO of ICE, Irene Cañas.

With the law and this credit line, “We are taking a first step towards the decarbonization of the economy”, as stated by Carlos Alvarado, the President of Costa Rica.

The Legislative Assembly unanimously approved credit line with the IDB under very favourable conditions for the country.

The President, together with the Minister of Finance, Rocío Aguilar , signed the Law No. 9573, which gives Costa Rica a line of credit for $ 500 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB/ BID) – known as CCLIP – for the development of sustainable electric projects in a ceremony on June 18, 2018.

From the CCLIP , individual loan contracts will be derived to cover the country’s electricity needs. These will be signed in the eight years after the publication of the law, with terms of execution of up to 25 years. The IDB created this credit instrument for clients with outstanding payment records.

The activity, which took place in the Energy Efficiency Laboratory of ICE, in Rincón Grande de Pavas, was attended by Claudia Dobles, First Lady of the Republic; Irene Cañas, executive president of ICE; and Fidel Jaramillo , representative of the Bank for Costa Rica.

Towards decarbonization

Among the projects to be financed include the completion of the Las Pailas II Geothermal Plant , as well as the construction of the Borinquen I and Borinquen II Geothermal Plants. Also, transmission and distribution works at the national level, digitalization of public services and creation and expansion of smart cities.

President Alvarado reiterated that one of the priorities of his government is the decarbonization of the economy, based on the diversification of the energy matrix with alternative sources to oil derivatives. “Costa Rica must understand with conviction that it has to be at the tip of the development of Latin America. A nation that produces 99% of its electricity with clean sources and that can take that to transport, must be a leader in decarbonizationof its economy, “said the president.

For his part, Fidel Jaramillo said that “The IDB has been a strategic partner in the development of the Costa Rican electricity sector since the early 1970s. The Bank has participated in the construction of pioneering projects that contributed to making Costa Rica the country in the world with greater participation and diversification of renewable sources in its electricity matrix, also with the highest level of electricity coverage in the region. ”

The executive president of ICE, Irene Cañas, thanked the support “that the IDB has given us to position ourselves as a reference country in renewable energies, and also, the contribution that now gives us to be regional drivers of the transformation towards electric transport and the adoption of digital solutions. ” Together , he rescued the broad, soft and favorable conditions of the line of credit granted by the IDB to the country.

On May 17, 2018, unanimously of the 51 deputies present , the Legislative Assembly approved in the second debate draft law 19.998, which as of this Monday became Law No. 9573, called “Cooperation Agreement for the financing Investment Projects CR-X1014, between the Republic of Costa Rica, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and the Bank Inter -American of Development ( IDB ) “.

The Energy Efficiency Laboratory of ICE has specialized teams that were financed precisely with a similar line of credit, which came into force in 2009.

In its more than 10 spaces, it provides services to domestic and foreign clients in research and calibration in lighting, domestic and commercial refrigeration , electric motors, electric cooking, washing, heaters, solar heater and solar PV systems.

Facebook Live video from the ceremony, June 18, 2018

Source: Grupo ICE