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Costa Rica signs $240m loan with Japan for Borinquen I geothermal project

Las Pailas plant, Costa Rica (source: Ormat)
Alexander Richter 21 Jun 2017

Costa Rica and Japan sign $240 million loan agreement for the 55 MW Berinquen I geothermal power project, the third of Costa Rica state power utility ICE.

As reported today from Costa Rica, the country signed a loan agreement with Japan for $241 million in loan funding of the Borinquen I geothermal plant.

This was reported by state-owned Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE). the developer of the project. When ready the plant will be the third geothermal power plant of Costa Rica, with the existing Miravalles and Las Paillas.

The loan was officially signed in a ceremony at the office of the President of Costa Rica. The loan from Japan will be complemented by additional loans from the Inter-American Development Bank and ICE. The plant is expected to add 55 MW in power generation capacity when it is to enter commercial operation in 2023.

The loan was granted by Japan as part of a loan granted in 2013 for the development of geothermal projects in Costa Rica and ratified by the Legislative Assembly in 2014. They were signed for 40 years and with an interest rate of 0.6 percent. ICE officials visited the Asian country in February to finalize the technical, legal, environmental and other details of the loan.

Hidetoshi Irigaki, vice president of JICA, said that, “Costa Rica has been demonstrating a great international presence in actions to mitigate climate change. It is very important for us to recognize all these efforts.” He added that, “At Miravalles I, Japanese equipment was installed and has been operating for more than 30 years efficiently. This speaks of the excellent capacity that Costa Rica has to maintain the plant.”

“For ICE and Costa Rica, it is an honor to receive the confidence of the Japanese people back, embodied in this agreement. We will not give up on the mission to defend and consolidate our electric model, recognized in the world for being renewable, diverse and solidary, and that is respected and supported by sister nations like Japan, “said Carlos Manuel Obregón, ICE executive president.

Despite its small size, Costa Rica is the third largest producer of electricity from volcanic geothermal capacity in the American continent (after the United States and Mexico), as well as the eleventh in the world, said ICE.

Source: Costa Rica Star