The Government of Panama launched a new plan for the Comprehensive Development of the Electricity Sector that includes investments for electrification in rural areas.
As part of the launch of the Plan for the Comprehensive Development of the Electricity Sector, the President of Panama , Laurentino Cortizo , announced a new investment that will allow the construction of the Generadora Gatún project based on natural gas.
In a press conference, Cortizo said that "it is an investment of a billion dollars, which will generate more than 3,000 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs in its construction phase.
He highlighted that within the shareholding composition of the new consortium, an agreement was reached in which the company InterEnergy Group will have 51% of the shares, the State will have 25% and AES Corporation will have 24% of the share. "As a shareholder, Panama will not have to put a single investment penny," said Cortizo.
"The entry into operation of the Gatún Generator into the energy matrix will help to stabilize the national electricity tariff, creating the conditions for significantly reducing the cost of energy," said the Panama president.
Comprehensive Energy Plan
Regarding the new plan for the Comprehensive Development of the Electricity Sector, Cortizo said that one of the strategic objectives of his Government is to promote a transformation of the electric power generation, transmission and distribution system for the benefit of Panamanians.
Furthermore, “it aims at the transformation of a more competitive energy sector in price and quality; cheaper clean energy generation; million-dollar investments to strengthen the transmission system; job creation, and massive electrification in rural areas of the country, "says a statement from the Presidency.
The chief executive indicated that the old thermal plants with low efficiency, high costs and pollutants will leave the market at the end of 2023.
He explained that the Comprehensive Energy Plan contemplates important investments for electrification in rural areas, including 76 projects that will achieve the interconnection of 3,500 homes to improve the quality of life of more than 18,000 Panamanians.
Also, it contemplates the investment of 90 million dollars to reinforce "the electric transmission line, which will generate hundreds of jobs, diversifying our options and opening another pole of energy development in the north of the country."
The governor explained that for the rest of the sector, the plan contemplates that within the short term the supply of power and energy will be tendered from November 2021 to December 2023. "This will guarantee the supply for economic recovery without increasing the cost of energy ”.
Negotiations to acquire Hidroeléctrica Bayano
President Cortizo announced that the Government is in negotiations with AES to acquire all the shares of Hidroeléctrica Bayano.
He explained that, through this negotiation, Panama will be able to use the waters of the Bayano reservoir, the second largest water reserve in the country with a storage capacity of 27 billion cubic meters of water, which would be used for the supply of vital liquid in the metropolitan area, for the operation of the Panama Canal and to generate electricity.
During the event, the general manager of the Electric Transmission Company (Etesa), Carlos Mosquera Castillo, reported on the next delivery of the order to proceed with the Panama III transmission line project.
He explained that this work is the key piece for the energy and power transport system to consolidate, and update its capacity in the North-South-Colón-Panama sector.
The project consists of the construction of a 230KV transmission line with 168 double-circuit self-supporting structures and two conductors per phase that will have an approximate capacity of 1000 MVA per circuit and a length of 50 kilometers along the Panama-Colón highway.
The event was attended by the vice president and minister of the Presidency, José Gabriel Carrizo Jaén, ministers of State, former presidents of the Republic, businessmen from the energy sector and local government authorities.