BCIE Finances Wind Farm in Honduras, Hydropower Expansion in Costa Rica
14 February 2012: The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) announced, on 14 February 2012, financing for renewable energy projects in Costa Rica and Honduras, as well as for a project intended to link the national electrical grids of Central American countries.
The US$140 million loan to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) involves the expansion of ICE's Cachi hydroelectric plant in Cartago Province to increase its electric power output from 100 megawatts (MW) to 160 MW. BICE and ICE claim that the expansion will provide electricity to 330,000 Costa Ricans, save the country an average of US$42.4 million per year in costs from thermal plants operating on imported fossil fuel.
Separately BCIE announced a US$65 million loan agreement with Germany's development bank, KfW, that will fund Central America's largest wind farm, "Cerro de Hula" in Honduras, as well as the Electric Interconnection System for the Countries of Central America (SIEPAC) project linking the national electrical grids of the isthmus. [BCIE Press Release on Guatemalan Loan (Spanish)] [BCIE Press Release on Costa Rica Loan (Spanish)]