A $1.15bn facility comprising a 381 MW combined-cycle power plant and the first liquified natural gas terminal in Central America have been inaugurated in Panama by AES Corporation.

The AES Colón plant and terminal are expected to begin commercial operations on September 1 and are intended to help wean Central America and the Caribbean off oil-fired generation.

“The inauguration of AES Colón is a significant step toward diversifying the energy mix in Central America and the Caribbean, introducing cleaner alternatives in Panama and beyond,” said Andrés Gluski, AES President.

“We expect that the entry of low-cost US LNG will transform the Central American energy sector, much as it has in the Dominican Republic. This facility is the latest example of how innovation is driving a cleaner energy future on a global scale.”

AES Colón was built in 27 months, and during construction, the project created more than 2500 jobs. Once operational, it will create about 200 jobs.