IIC supports renewable energy development in Nicaragua

03/09/2011

US$50 million loan will promote energy efficiency in Rivas, in southwestern Nicaragua

Washington, D.C. - On March 8, 2011, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a loan of up to US$50 million for Blue Power & Energy S.A. ("BPE") to develop a wind farm in Nicaragua.

The loan proceeds will enable BPE to build, commission, and operate a wind farm with twenty-two 1.8 MW, V90 Vestas turbines. The wind farm will be located in Rivas, in southwestern Nicaragua, and is expected to generate 138 GWh of electricity per year. This amounts to more than 5% of Nicaragua’s current power consumption.

With this operation, the IIC is promoting the use of renewable energy as an alternative to meet the growing demand for energy and help to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The project has a significant positive environmental impact: it will result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in Nicaragua. It will also contribute to foreign exchange savings in Nicaragua by replacing energy generated in inefficient thermopower plants with clean energy.

"With this project, Nicaragua will be at the forefront of alternative energy use in Central America. This initiative is in line with the IDB Group’s directives that seek to promote the use of renewable resources and foster clean energy generation, thereby improving and protecting citizens’ well-being and promoting the use and development of clean technologies in Latin America. The project is expected to create approximately 400 jobs in a rural area during the construction phase and employ more than 20 workers once the wind farm begins operations. This project underscores the role that the private sector can play in enhancing competitiveness, improving the electricity system’s efficiency, and mitigating climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean all at the same time," said Jorge Ciurlizza, IIC Senior Investment Officer in charge of the operation.

According to Joaquín Cuadra, Chairman of BPE’s board of directors, "With the construction and commissioning of the first phase of BPE, Nicaragua’s private sector is making a determined investment in transforming the country’s energy matrix, a change that is crucial for economic and social development. The IIC has been a key strategic partner in securing this project."

The IIC has worked closely with BICSA Panamá and Vestas in developing this project.

About Blue Power & Energy S.A.

BPE is a Nicaraguan corporation created to develop a wind power project in Rivas, Nicaragua. The project will include twenty-two wind turbines purchased and operated by Vestas, a world leader in wind power generation. Each turbine will have a capacity of 1.8 MW, resulting in a total power generation capacity of 39.6 MW and expected power production of 138 GWh per year. For more information on BPE, please visit www.bluepowerenergy.net

About the IIC

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. It does so by providing financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2010, the IIC reached US$1.4 billion in assets and approved forty-nine operations channeling US$374.8 million to SMEs in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int

Contact: Jorge Ciurlizza

Telephone: (202) 623-3932

Email: jorgeci@iadb.org