IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has completed a US$150 million financing package for the construction and operation of Central America’s first integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power facility in Colón Province, Panamá.
AES Colón has a total project cost of approximately US$1 billion. Additional capital for the project has been secured through other financial institutions, along with equity investments from the AES Corporation and the Panama-based Motta Group.
The project, AES Colón, consists of a 380 MW gas-fired power plant and an onshore LNG import and regasification terminal with an 180,000 cubic meter storage tank. The facility is expected to displace at least 2,100 GW hours of power currently generated from heavy fuel oil and diesel.
Located on Panama’s Atlantic coast, the plant will become operational in the first half of 2018. Once operational, the project will offset about 4 percent of Panama’s carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Gustavo Pimenta, CFO for AES’s Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Strategic Business Unit, said:
“We are honored to have IFC joining us in this transformational project, through which we reaffirm our commitment to Panama and the region. AES Colón will generate significant benefits to the country and contribute to its sustainable development by diversifying the energy matrix with clean natural gas, while providing an avenue for the transformation of other adjacent industries within the regional economy.”
Stanley A. Motta, President of Motta Group, stated:
“We are extremely pleased to be working with IFC on this important project to establish the first LNG plant in Central America. Bringing clean power to Panama is a project we and AES have been working on for some time. We are proud to see it become a reality.”
Giancarlo Ortega, IFC Principal Investment Officer, said:
“This LNG to power facility is a game-changer for Panama. It leverages an expected growth in natural gas and provides a low-carbon power source for Panama, which has been heavily dependent on seasonal hydropower and vulnerable to fluctuations in oil prices. Introducing LNG as a fuel for electricity will significantly transform the country’s energy matrix, supporting a critical component of its growth strategy.”