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IDB will finance private sector in construction of photovoltaic solar energy plant in Chile

Crucero Photovoltaic Solar Energy Project will be located in the Antofagasta region and supply the mining industry and other industrial consumers

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $50.4 million loan from its ordinary capital pool and another of $16 million from its its Clean Technology Fund (CTF) to finance the construction, operation and maintenance, along with the corresponding civil engineering works, of a photovoltaic solar energy plant in the Chilean region of Antofagasta.

The plant will be part of the Crucero Photovoltaic Solar Energy Project,  located 15.4 kilometers northwest of the city of María Elena. It will boast a peak generating capacity of 72.8 megawatts and provide electricity that will help reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the Greater Northern Chile Interconnected System, where demand essentially comes from mining companies and other industrial users.

“By financing the Crucero project, the IDB continues to support development of the solar energy sector in Chile. The IDB's leadership in the sector and its ability to mobilize resources from the CTF have helped attract a local commercial bank for the financing of a merchant solar energy project in Chile for the first time,” said Jean-Marc Aboussouan, director of the infrastructure division of the IDB's Structured and Corporate Finance Department. This is the unit responsible for financing large-scale private sector projects.

The main benefits expected from the project are to take advantage of a local resource that contributes to diversifying the energy supply in Chile, which in 2012 which depended on imported fuels for 70 percent of its energy capacity.  The project will also feature the use of a renewable energy resource to replace fossible fuels in the generation of energy that will avoid the emission of 148,878 tons of CO2 per year and will meet the needs of the mining industry and others in the region.

About the Structured and Corporate Finance Department

The Structured and Corporate Finance Department (SCF) spearheads all IDB operations without sovereign guarantees for large-scale projects, companies and financial institutions in Latin American and the Caribbean. The department serves as a catalyst, helping to mobilize third-party resources through partnerships with commercial banks, institutional investors, co-guarantors and other co-financing entities for projects with high impact on development.

About the Clean Technology Fund

The Clean Technology Fund is one of the IDB's Climate Investment Funds, and provides middle-income countries with concessional resources aimed at overcoming cost and risk barriers to broaden the display, use and transfer of low-carbon technologies in renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport. Based on its Chile Investment Plan, the fund is supporting large-scale development of solar and geothermal energy, as well as energy efficiency and generation of renewable energy for countries to be self-sufficient.

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