Panama's utility regulator predicts the nation will add 31 hydroelectric projects totaling 1,047 MW through 2013.
Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos (Asep) said 15 of the projects are under construction “with a healthy rate of progress,” while the other 16 are in final design. The agency said the projects represent investment of US$2 billion, giving a strong boost to the Panama economy.
“This gives peace of mind that the market is growing because they can meet demand in coming years,” Asep said.
Panama’s current installed capacity is 1,663 MW, compared to peak demand of 1,120 MW, Asep said. Demand is expected to total 1,373 MW by 2013.
Barring unforeseen setbacks, Asep predicted June 22, 2009, that three projects of 15 MW would come on line in 2009, seven of 97 MW in 2010, eight of 364 MW in 2011, 11 of 538 MW in 2012, and two of 33 MW in 2013.
Among Panama’s recent hydropower activity, the European Investment Bank said it is considering proposals to fund construction of the 29-MW Barro Blanco hydroelectric project on the Tabasara River (HydroWorld 5/29/09) and the three-plant, 115-MW Dos Mares hydroelectric complex on the Chiriqui River. (HydroWorld 2/3/09)
Russian equipment supplier Energomashexport Corp. LLC announced a contract in February to supply electro-mechanical equipment for the 85-MW Baitun hydroelectric project on the Chiriqui Viejo River (HydroWorld 2/13/09), while Generadora Pedregalito S.A. signed a contract to construct the 20-MW Pedregalito hydroelectric project on the Chico River. (HydroWorld 1/16/09)
Istmus Hydro Power Corp. commissioned its 10-MW Concepcion hydropower project in January on the Piedra River in Panama’s Chiriqui Province. (HydroWorld 1/15/09) Meanwhile, Suez Energy Central America is building the 26-MW Gualaca, 34.8-MW Lorena, and 57.4-MW Prudencia projects on the Chiriqui River. (HydroWorld 9/30/08)