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Costa Rica secures $234m funding for Borinquen geothermal project

Rincon de la Vieja volcano, Costa Rica (source: flickr/ Jelle H., creative commons)

Japan is to provide financing of up to $234 million for the first 55 MW of the Borinquen geothermal power project by utility ICE in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica’s state energy utility ICE has announced that the government of Costa Rica and Japan have come to an understanding on a $234 million loan for the construction of the Borinquen I geothermal power plant in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Representatives of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and the Finance Ministry signed the agreement last week, as reported by ICE. The event was attended by Takeharu Nakagawa , Director of the Division for Central America and the Caribbean JICA; Shuhei Harada, Representative of JICA Superior Engineering; Carlos Manuel Obregon, Chief Executive of ICE; Francisco Garro, Corporate Manager of Administration and Finance; Sergio Mata, Managing Director of Project ICE, and Juan Carlos Quiros, Bureau of Public Credit Ministry of Finance, among other attendees.

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The agencies will meet again in February to sign the loan agreement after Japanese officials conduct an inspection in December.

During the past two weeks, a technical mission of JICA defined by the ICE building program the scheme investment and procurement plan, among other technical, legal, environmental and financial aspects of the project.

In a statement by Carlos Obregon, CEO of ICE said he is confident that this agreement will “succesfully shape the Borinquen project, and that in the future Japan will accompany more clean energy projects.”

The sector loan for geothermal energy, approved in yen, is composed of three parts, whose approximate amounts are $ 167 million for Las Pailas II, $ 234 for Borinquen I and $ 157 million for Borinquen II. When completed these projects will add 165 MW of geothermal power generation capacity to Costa Rica, as we reported before.

Borinquen I is planned to start operation in 2023 , with 55 MW potential and will be the first stage of the new ICE geothermal field. Borinquen II will have the same capacity, and is expected to be incorporated into the National Electric System in 2025.

ICE is currently developing Pailas II, which is currently 40% complete and is expected to start production in 2019.  When these three plants are integrated, geothermal installed capacity will reach 372 megawatts Costa Rica.

Source: Grupo ICE