COSTA RICA BUSINESS – Celsia S.A., Colombia’s fourth-biggest power producer, is turning to Central America for its first international expansion, buying stakes in seven power plants in Panama and Costa Rica in a US$840 million deal.
The purchase includes a wind plant in Costa Rica from Courbevoie, France-based GDF Suez. The deal, which Celsia expects to close by December, will add 535 megawatts of generating capacity, boosting the company’s total by 30 percent.
According to the 2013 World Energy Performance Index, Costa Rica is among the top 10 countries in the world with the best energy performance; and without question the northwestern province of Guanacaste has become a focal point for alternative and renewable energy.
The wind farm produces 49.5 MW and its acquisition is Celsia’s gamble on renewable energy sources. The Guanacaste power plant went online in 2010, powered with Enercon wind turbines producing 900 kW each.
Celsia’s purchases include thermoelectric stations in Panama totalling 367 MW, and an additional 118 MW from hydropower plants.
Jose Alberto Velez, CEO of Celsia’s parent company, Medellin-based Grupo Argos SA, said in April that it was exploring further energy investments after dropping out of the bidding for Colombian hydropower producer Isagen SA.
Sources: Bloomberg; PEI Power Engineering; Hacienda Guachipelin