GDF SUEZ begins commercial operation of 118 MW* hydro plant in Panama
GDF SUEZ has started full commercial operation of the last unit of the Dos Mares hydro plant, a 118 MW run-of-the river plant consisting of three power plants (Gualaca, Lorena and Prudencia). Two power plants came on line in 2011 and the third one was commissioned recently. Dos Mares is situated in the Chiriqui Province in Panama and represents an investment of approximately USD 460 million (€360 million**).
Following an auction in 2008, GDF SUEZ sold 100 MW to distribution companies for a period of ten years, from 2013 to 2022. The Dos Mares hydroelectric complex is expected to provide 6,000 GWh for the length of this period. The project will avoid the equivalent of 350,000 tonnes per year of carbon emissions.
Gerard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ said: “Our Dos Mares plant is contributing to the diversification of Panama’s energy mix by providing the system with renewable energy and supporting the country’s rapid growth in energy demand. This project demonstrates our commitment to renewables and underlines our focus on fast growing markets.”
The Republic of Panama is one of the best performing countries of Central and Latin America in economic terms with an average real GDP growth of 9.5% in the period 2010-2012. With a population of 3.4 million, Panama has an installed capacity of approximately 2.3 GW. The country’s electricity demand has been growing at an average annual rate of 6.3% for the last five years. GDF SUEZ Energy Central America is the second largest power producer in the country supplying 25% of the national demand.
GDF SUEZ entered the Panamanian market in 2007 through the acquisition of a 51% stake in Bahia Las Minas, Panama’s largest thermal generating complex (249 MW). The Group also owns and operates the 83 MW Cátiva thermal plant.
Other GDF SUEZ companies, such as CNR and Tractebel Engineering, have been very active in Panama in recent years including an enlargement study of the Panama Canal to allow the transit of larger ships.
* Held at 100%
** Exchange rate 1 USD = 0.78 euro.
GDF SUEZ develops its businesses around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, combating climate change and optimizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: liquefied natural gas, energy efficiency services, independent power production and environmental services. GDF SUEZ employs 218,900 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €90.7 billion in 2011. The Group is listed on the Brussels and Paris stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Stoxx 50, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, ASPI Eurozone and ECPI Ethical Index EMU.