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Colombia's Celsia ramps up Guajira wind farm plans

Bnamericas Published: Monday, May 07, 2018
Colombia's Celsia ramps up Guajira wind farm plans

Colombia's Celsia aims to bring online the first of two wind projects on the country's Caribbean coast by 2021, as it sharpens its focus on non-conventional renewable energy, company executives said on Monday.

The 80MW Acacia farm at Maicao, in northeastern La Guajira department, is in the "advanced feasibility stage", Celsia CEO Ricardo Sierra told analysts during a quarterly earnings call.

A timetable for the 220MW Camelias facility at Uribia – also in La Guajira – hinges on an associated transmission line, he said, adding that the complex could begin operating in 2023.

Both projects belong to Begonia Power, a joint venture between Celsia and Portugal's Renovatio.

"They are still in the feasibility stage, which means that as yet there has been no financial close," Sierra said. "We still can't announce costs or profitability [forecasts], but we are in that process."

According to Sierra, the company is also hoping to execute a 50MW wind project in Costa Rica next year, if a planned auction goes ahead.

SOLAR

In the photovoltaic solar segment, Celsia aims to begin operating its 8MW Bolívar facility in the third quarter, having begun construction in Q1.

Solar parks are also earmarked for César and Santander departments in the country's north. Work on the former could begin in the second half of the year and will boast 60-100MW of capacity when complete, the company said.

The project in Santander will comprise 80-100MW, with construction slated to begin early next year, pending the approval of a transmission link.

Celsia said it is also developing a raft of 10-20MW solar parks in the Magdalena valley and Colombia's central region.

Hydropower also remains part of the firm's plans and work began on its 19.9MW San Andrés run-of-the-river plant in northwestern Antioquia department during Q1.

PROFIT

Celsia reported a 262% year-on-year jump in consolidated net profit to 79bn pesos (US$28mn) in the first quarter.

Ebitda climbed 20% to 290bn pesos, reflecting rising spot-market energy prices, higher generation volumes and lower administrative costs, the company said.

The Medellín-based subsidiary of Grupo Argos said it hopes to receive permission from Colombia's financial regulator Superfinanciera this month to issue green bonds worth up to 420bn pesos.

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