ICE awards Garabito thermo project to Hitachi

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Costa Rican state power company ICE has awarded a turnkey contract to Japanese company Hitachi to build the US$113mn, 190MW diesel-fired Garabito combined cycle project in Puntarenas province, local press reported.

The Garabito contract was originally awarded in July of last year to Abener Energía, a subsidiary of Spanish engineering company Abengoa, for US$160mn. However, the process was halted last October due to alleged payment scandals involving Abengoa subsidiary Inabensa Abengoa and former president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez.

The contract was finally cancelled when Costa Rica's external finance authority, Conafin, told ICE it could not take on debt to finance the project if Abengoa were to build it.

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Hitachi was the second bidder in line followed by fellow Japanese companies Sumitomo and Marubeni.

Garabito will act as a back-up project set to come online in summer 2008, meaning it will not help to mitigate predicted electricity shortages in summer 2007.