ICE to invest US$9bn through to 2024

Friday, May 11, 2012

Costa Rica's state power company ICE plans to invest US$9bn in the Central American country's power sector over the next 12 years, the company's electricity director Gravin Mayorga told BNamericas.

The majority of the investment will go into generation, with hydro, thermo and geothermal projects included in the investment portfolio.

"We are looking to add new generation assets over the next 10 years which will make use of the natural resources of Costa Rica," Mayorga said on the sidelines of the 2nd BNamericas Hydro Power Summit Latin America in São Paulo.

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"We have a long list of projects in development and in the prefeasibility stage, and we are looking at investments through to 2024 of around US$9bn, including associated transmission and distribution projects."

Around 378MW in hydro capacity will be added over the next three years, through the inclusion of the Reventazón (306MW), Toro III (46MW) and Macho (20MW) plants, and the 60MW upgrade of the Cachi facility.

A further two projects, El Diquís (650MW) and Sevegre 160MW, are in the prefeasibility stage, Mayorga added.

ICE is currently involved in negotiations with indigenous communities who will be affected by the projects. Startup dates of 2019 and 2020 were given by the executive for each project.

"We also have a combined cycle plant, Paila II, which is being studied, however, in the longer term we are also looking to diversify our matrix with renewable energy projects, such as geothermal and wind," the executive added.