General Electric, Latin America

EGI finds financing for Don Pedro hydro electric plant

Issue 2 and Volume 4.

EGI finds financing for Don Pedro hydro electric plant

Energia Global Inc. (EGI), USA, has completed the (US)$25 million financing for its Don Pedro hydroelectric facility in Costa Rica. The project received (US)$26.6 million in construction, senior and subordinated debt financing from General Electric Capital Corp. and (US)$1.5 million in equity financing from Energy Investors Funds. It is being touted as the first totally private financing done for a major energy facility in Costa Rica under the country`s private power law, passed in 1990, allowing private firms to sell power to the country`s electrical utility, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE). The power purchase agreement signed by P.H. Don Pedro S.A. with ICE is a renewable 15-year contract. There are no limits on the project`s returns.

“The Don Pedro project is part of a new breed of renewable power facilities,” said Peter Clark, EGI`s senior vice president, “generating a significant amount of power with minimal environmental impact.”

Don Pedro is a high-head hydro project, generating 14 MW by dropping a relatively small volume of water 1,400 feet, more than 1.7 miles, through a steel pipe. There will be no large dams or flooded valleys. After passing through the turbine house, the water is returned to the Rio Volcan River.

The project is on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica in San Miguel de Heredia, in the Sarapiqui River drainage basin. José Cartellone Construcciones Civiles S.A., an international contractor based in Argentina, will construct the plant. The Ogden Power Corp., will operate and maintain the facility, along with EGI`s second planned project in the area, the Rio Volcan plant. The Rio Volan project, a 17-MW hydroelectric project with a total cost estimated at (US)$30 million, will be adjacent to the Don Pedro facility. The plants will take 18 months each to construct.