Business

Dom Rep firm eyes 50-MW wind farm financing

JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant Business Co-ordinator richardsonj@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 24, 2012    

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A Dominican Republic-based company may get financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) towards its US$133-million ($12-billion) wind farm project in the Caribbean country.

Parques Eólicos del Caribe (PECASA) in November plans to start development on a 50-megawatt (MW) greenfield wind power plant in the northwestern part of the Dominican Republic (DR), near the town of Villa Vasquez in the province of Montecristi. The IFC said it is considering providing financing for up to US$32.5 million through an A Loan.

"Co-financing in the form of parallel long-term senior debt is expected to come from other international financial organisations, such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)," the IFC said in a summary on its website.

The 15-month project is being pursued under a 20-year concession awarded by the DR's national energy commission.

It includes the construction and operation of 25 two-MW Gamesa G97 wind turbine generators (and associated foundations, platforms and 21 km of underground transmission cables), a 14 km 138 kV transmission line, 21 km of new access roads or improvement of existing ones, and a substation, said the IFC. Each tower will be 78-metres high and will have a rotor diametre of 97 metres, reported the financial institution.

The project is expected to produce approximately 156 gigawatt hours (GWh) annually, displacing an estimated 110,000 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) per annum, equivalent to emissions from almost 10,000 Toyota Tundras per year. The upshot is improved air quality and climate change mitigation, said the development company.

PECASA will sell all of the power produced to state-owned utility Corporacion Dominicana de Empresas Electricas Estatales under a 20-year power purchase agreement, said the IFC. The company has the option to expand the plant by another 50 MW of power generation capacity at a future date.

The electricity production capacity in the Dominican Republic is estimated at just over 3,000 MW. The country has been aggressively seeking to diversify its energy mix towards one that is less dependent on oil and other fossil fuels. The IDB last year approved two loans for a total of US$78.3 million to help finance the construction of two wind farms in the country, where some 14 per cent of energy need is generated from renewable energy.

PECASA is 57 per cent controlled by Gamesa Energía SAU, a subsidiary of Spanish holding company Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA, which is focused mainly on real estate development and construction; Promociones KEOPS, has a 25 per cent stake.

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