EIB lends $230 million to boost clean energy in Central America

23 August 2013

LONDON: The European Investment Bank (EIB), one of the world’s largest energy lenders, will provide US$230 million backing to support renewables growth in Central America, helping the region compete in the global clean revolution.

In partnership with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, Europe’s long-term lending institution agreed to invest in hydropower, wind, geothermal and photovoltaic renewable energy schemes in six countries, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua.

The scheme aims to cut down on regional dependence on fossil fuel imports as well as decreasing carbon emissions from energy production. It will support both public and private sector investment in renewables and energy efficiency projects.

Magdalena Álvarez Arza, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for lending in Latin America said in a statement: “Considerable investment is needed to harness the potential of renewable energy and more efficient energy use to reduce carbon emissions and provide energy essential for economic growth.

"The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting long-term investment in sustainable energy around the world and enabling low-carbon energy investment in Central America. We have a strong track record of partnership with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and look forward to continuing this cooperation to benefit investment in the region."

Dr. Nick Rischbieth, Executive President, Central American Bank for Economic Integration, commented: "As the principal source of multilateral funding in the region, and as the financial arm of the central american integration, we are most pleased with the expansion of our cooperation with EIB in the framework of our shared goal of promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency investments as drivers of sustainable and balanced growth in our beneficiary member countries.”

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, added: "This is a prime example of collaboration between powerful institutions working on a global scale to invest in clean technology and energy efficiency, which will speed up Central America's transition to a clean revolution and keep the region competitive with other emerging economies such as Brazil and China."

Earlier this month, the EIB also issued a US$848 million ‘green bond’ to help it finance renewable energy and efficiency projects. The Climate Awareness Bond was launched in response to strong demand from asset managers, insurers and pension funds and is the largest of its type ever to have been issued in the euro market.

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By Clare Saxon

Image by Peter Rood

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