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IDB makes $20 million grant for Haiti hydro

Resources to restore the country’s largest renewable energy plant

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today announced the approval of a $20 million grant to complete and supplement the financing needed to refurbish the Péligre hydroelectric plant, Haiti’s largest renewable energy generation facility.

The project will enable Haiti to restore and preserve Péligre’s original installed capacity of 54 megawatts, while safeguarding the dam’s functions of controlling floods and supplying water for irrigation in the Artibonite valley, the country’s principal farming region.

At present the power plant only operates at under half of its capacity, forcing Haiti to rely more heavily on thermoelectric plants that consume expensive imported fossil fuels.

The new grant will supplement other financing already committed to the project, including a $12.5 million IDB grant, a $13.7 million grant from the German development agency KfW and $15 million in concessional financing from OFID, OPEC’s international development fund.

These resources will cover the cost of rehabilitating Péligre’s three turbines, its ageing electromechanical equipment, communications and control systems, the insulation of its alternators, an external substation and alarm systems. The rehabilitation works are scheduled to start in 2012.

In coordination with other donors such as USAID and the World Bank, the IDB is helping Haiti carry out a comprehensive reform of its energy sector, including the recovery, expansion and modernization of its generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure and the strengthening of financial, technical and commercial management at Électricité d’Haïti, the state utility.

The IDB is Haiti’s leading multilateral donor. Over the past two years, the Bank has approved $442 million in new grants and disbursed more than $330 million to support Haiti’s recovery and long-term development investments in sectors such as education, water and sanitation, agriculture, transportation, energy and private sector development.