Costa Rica's government announced it has included the 306-MW Reventazon hydro project in its 2011-14 national development plan, with the aim of starting operations in 2016.
With a price tag of around US$1billion, efforts to secure financing have become paramount, wire reports indicate.
State power company ICE has issued bonds and turned to multilaterals, including the European Investment Bank and IDB, Business News Americas reported.
ICE looks to secure US$175 million, according to IDB, which has begun the project's preparation phase and placed the financing request in its formal portfolio for 2011.
The hydro project is planned for the area of Siquirres in Limon province and would use water from the Reventazon, and supply 524,000 homes.
Project works include a 130-meter-high, 527-meter-wide concrete face rockfill dam, a 1.68-kilometer water transport tunnel and four Francis turbines. Bidding is under way for the electromechanical equipment.
In other news, prefeasibility studies are under way for the 138-MW Paz hydro project on the border between Guatemala and El Salvador.
Spanish firm Iberinsa was awarded the contract in 2009, reports indicate.
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