Panama venture to develop 25-MW Santa Maria, another 100 MW

A subsidiary of Canadian gold miner Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. has formed a venture with Generadora Hidroelectrica Santa Maria S.A. to develop the 25-MW Santa Maria hydroelectric project and potentially another 100 MW of hydropower in Panama.

Petaquilla said June 29, 2009, that its wholly owned Panama Central Electrica S.A. entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Santa Maria to develop the initial hydro project in Panama’s Veraguas Province. The partners agreed to advance the project to the stage of a bankable feasibility study and to update the project’s 1998 environmental impact study.

Upon completion of the feasibility study, the partners envision beginning project construction in the fourth quarter of 2010. Ownership of the project is to be based on capital contribution.

“In addition, the MOU also contemplates the subsequent development of additional hydropower projects in the central provinces of Panama with cumulative potential of up to 100 MW,” Petaquilla said.

Panama's utility regulator estimates seven hydro projects totaling 97 MW will come on line in 2010, among 31 projects totaling 1,047 MW expected to be commissioned through 2013. (HydroWorld 6/30/09)

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