Costa Rica’s state owned utility, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), will receive a US$70 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to expand a geothermal power plant as the nation seeks to get all of its energy from renewable sources.

Geothermal Plant “Las Pailas” in Costa Rica
Geothermal Plant “Las Pailas” in Costa Rica

The Las Pailas project at the Rincon de la Vieja volcano in northwest Costa Rica will be boosted to 97 megawatts from 42 megawatts, according to the Luxembourg-based lender.

In an email to Bloomberg, EIB spokesperson, Richard Willis, said “the project will contribute to reaching Costa Rica’s challenging goal to achieving carbon neutrality by 2021…meaning its net contribution to global climate change will fall to zero”.

The US$333 million expansion is expected to be producing power by the end of August 2018 and will include 20 new wells, according to the e-mail. It will also be financed by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The EIB may also provide a “sizable loan” for Costa Rica’s El Diquis hydroelectric project, according to the e-mail.

Source: Bloomberg