IIC and Hidroeléctica San Lorenzo S.A. Sign Loan Agreement To Promote Renewable Energy Generation


Panama City, Panama — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and Hidroeléctrica San Lorenzo S.A., a subsidiary of Grupo Cuerva España, signed a loan agreement for financing of up to US$21 million, of which the IIC is providing US$10.5 million.

The funds will be used to build an 8.6-megawatt run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant, which is expected to generate some 40 gigawatt hours annually. Construction works associated with the project include a concrete dike with five gates located along the Fonseca River in Chiriquí Province, a short canal from said river, and a powerhouse to accommodate two Kaplan type turbines.

"Grupo Cuerva España is quite pleased that this, the company’s first international project, was made possible thanks to financing from such reputable and important institutions as the IIC—a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group—and Banco Internacional de Costa Rica S.A. (BICSA), and is likewise thankful for the corporate backing received from Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo (COFIDES)," noted Ignacio Cuerva Valdivia, chair of Grupo Cuerva España.

"With this operation, the IIC will help boost development of small run-of-the-river power plants in Panama, which account for a significant part of the country’s energy matrix," noted the IDB’s Representative in Panama, Tomás Bermúdez. "These plants contribute to the growth of Panama and the wider region by generating energy from a renewable source, reducing the cost of electricity, and providing an ongoing supply of energy with minimal environmental impact."

According to Jorge Ciurlizza, the IIC senior investment officer in charge of the operation, "This infusion of Spanish capital aimed at developing Panamanian infrastructure will have a significant social impact, not to mention the fact that all personnel hired for the project will be Panamanian citizens."

Participating in the signing ceremony were Tomás Bermúdez, who signed on behalf of the IIC by special proxy; Federico Carrillo Zurcher, the General Manager of BICSA; and Igancio Cuerva Valdivia and COFIDES representative Luis Rivera, the owners of Hidroeléctrica San Lorenzo S.A.

About Hidroeléctrica San Lorenzo S.A. and Grupo Cuerva España

Hidroeléctica San Lorenzo was established by Grupo Cuerva specifically to build, develop, and operate an 8.6 megawatt run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant located on the Fonseca River in Panama’s Chiriquí Provice.

Grupo Cuerva España is a family-owned company established more than 70 years ago in Granada, Spain. Its activities include electric power distribution and sales, renewable energy, as well as other industrial and energy-related services. For more information on Grupo Cuerva España and Hidroeléctica San Lorenzo, visit www.grupocuerva.com.

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 49 operations, channeling US$374.8 million to SMEs in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, visit www.iic.org

Contact: Jorge Ciurlizza

Telephone: (202) 623-3932

Email: jorgeci@iadb.org