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European bank considers funding Panama's 115-MW Los Mares

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is considering a proposal to provide 170 million euros (US$216 million) in financing to construct the three-plant, 115-MW Dos Mares hydroelectric complex in Panama.

EIB said it has under appraisal the proposal to provide funds to developers Alternegy SA and Bontex SA for the total 340 million euro (US$433 million) project.

Dos Mares is to be a cascade of three run-of-river hydropower plants totaling 115 MW, located in Panama's Chiriqui Province.

EIB considered the funding to support European Union presence in Latin America through direct foreign investment and to support economic development of Panama through improved electricity supply from a renewable energy source.

The bank said the project sponsors have conducted an environmental impact assessment, including public consultation, for all three plants, finding the project does not generate any major negative social or environmental effects. Nevertheless, mitigation measures have been put in place including the planting of 20 hectares of mixed forest, EIB said.

In 2007, the government of Panama granted concessions to Alternegy to build and operate the 54-MW Prudencia and 35-MW Lorena projects on the Chiriqui River in Chiriqui Province. (HNN 12/6/07)

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