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IDB salutes Central American nations’ progress towards forming a Regional Electricity Market

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) yesterday hosted a meeting of Energy Ministers and senior regional regulatory agency officials from the Regional Electricity Market (MER) comprising Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, along with representatives from the U.S. State Department and the Government of Mexico.

The meeting, held at the Bank’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., was aimed at continuing to move Central America’s energy integration efforts forward by strengthening MER and the infrastructure of the Central American Electricity Integration System (SIEPAC). The IDB has promoted SIEPAC’s role as a driver of the isthmus’s development and competitiveness agenda.

The IDB is committed to remaining the strategic partner for the region and to supporting its energy integration process. To that end, the Bank supports and provides technical cooperation and other financial resources to activities and investments aimed at helping Central American citizens to reap the full benefits of the optimization of MER’s operations and its associated infrastructure.

At the meeting, the Central American countries identified the progress achieved so far in the execution of MER’s Strategic Plan and agreed to extending it this year through 2019-2021 by incorporating a roadmap of additional steps.

The countries also reaffirmed their commitment to the consolidation of the SIEPAC-Mexico interconnection and to completing studies for the creation of a bi-regional market based on coordination between MER and the Mexican electricity market through appropriate regulatory harmonization. A study for the overall design of the integration of the Mexican electricity market with SIEPAC will be concluded this year; work will continue on a feasibility study expected to be ready in the first half of 2019.

MER’s Steering Committee (CDMER) will continue preparing the Third Protocol of MER’s Framework Agreement in 2018, which will be submitted to other regional agencies for comments before being sent in mid-2019 to the countries’ foreign ministries for any final adjustments and submission for signing by their executive branches and consideration by the legislative assemblies.

The meeting also included discussions regarding the prospects for expanding regional transmission capacity. In 2018, the Steering Committee, in coordination with the Regional Commission for Electricity Interconnection (CRIE), MER’s  regulatory entity, and its Regional Operating Agency (EOR), will conclude the feasibility study for the second circuit of SIEPAC’s transmission line, identifying the infrastructure needed to enhance the regional exchange capacity and the program to execute associated construction projects.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

Contacts

Manzano Guillen, Maria De Gador

Manzano Guillen, Maria De Gador
External Contacts

John Ferriter

John Ferriter
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