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Bolivia to strengthen its electrical transmission system with IDB support

$78 million loan for a new transmission line between Cochabamba and La Paz

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of $78 million to help finance construction of a 275-kilometer transmission line of 150 megawatts (MW) capacity from the Santiváñez substation in Cochabamba to the La Cumbre substation in La Paz, Bolivia. The loan will also support the expansion of both substations. 

The project, which will be carried out by the Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (ENDE), will help improve transmission among different areas of the country’s National Interconnected System, and particularly with the northern part of the system, which includes such major urban centers as La Paz, El Alto, and Trinidad.

Energy demand growth in the north of the interconnected system due to population increases and economic growth requires greater transmission capacity to ensure reliability under any circumstance. In its current state, the system cannot cover increased demand over the medium term. 

The new transmission line will raise the present transport capacity of 130 MW to 280 MW. The increase will help to ensure electricity supply to nearly half a million residential customers and support economic growth. The project will also facilitate future transmission of energy generated from renewable sources to the interconnected system. 

The operation will be carried out as sovereign guarantee investment loan of which 75 percent of the resources will come from the Bank’s ordinary capital with a repayment term of 30 years. The remaining 25 percent will come from the Fund for Special Operations for a term of 40 years.