Panama geothermal request loses steam

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Panama authorities cancelled a concession request for a geothermal project in Chiriquí province, BNamericas has learned.

Centram Geothermal submitted the request for the 5MW project Barú-Colorado to public services regulator Asep in December 2010.

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After the company filed a corrected form in May 2011, the watchdog in January 2012 authorized Centram to secure EIS approval from environment authority Anam and to move ahead with a water concession contract.

Following a deadline extension, the developer had until January 13 to submit the required documents to secure the geothermal concession. Centram failed to submit the documents, according to an Asep resolution.

The developer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Panama does not boast geothermal power production and Centram was the only company listed by the regulator with a geothermal project in the permitting phase.

The planned project covers 129km2 in the northwest near the border with Costa Rica and skirts the Barú and Colorado volcanoes. Results from previous work in the 1970s and 1980s indicate a reservoir with temperatures ranging 180-220 degrees Celsius.