June 1, 2012
-- The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a loan of up to US$8 million to Inversiones Hidroeléctricas S.A. for the construction of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant on the Upá River in central Nicaragua.
The loan will finance the construction, start-up, and operations of the El Diamante hydroelectric plant, which will have a generating capacity of 5 MW. The plant will prevent carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the exhaust produced by some 2,100 cars per year.
“This operation furthers the development of energy infrastructure in Nicaragua and contributes to the mitigation of climate change, since it reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” noted Aniceto Huertas-Corcelles, IIC Investment Officer in charge of the operation. “Run-of-the-
river hydroelectric plants generate clean and renewable energy with a minimal impact on the environment. Moreover, the construction of this project will require the modernization of nearby roads, which will tremendously improve the communications among area residents.”
Sergio Ríos, President of Inversiones Hidroeléctricas, added: “This project is the first of a planned four hydroelectric run-of-river projects in Nicaragua. Once in operation, these power plants will generate a combined 40 megawatts of renewable energy.”
Inversiones Hidroeléctricas belongs to a group of related enterprises that are investing in mining, forest development, and hydroelectric energy. The total cost of the project will be US$14 million. Construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2012.
The project is part of a broader IIC initiative to promote renewable energy in Nicaragua. In mid-2012, a wind farm financed under this initiative will begin operations, generating up to five percent of Nicaragua's energy consumption.
The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. In 2011, the IIC reached US$1.48 billion in assets and approved 71 operations channeling US$464.7 million to SMEs in the region.