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Costa Rica Utility to Get $70 Million Loan for Geothermal Plant

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Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, Costa Rica’s state-run utility, will a receive $70 million loan from the European Investment Bank to expand a geothermal power plant as the nation seeks to get all of its energy from renewable sources.

The Las Pailas project at the Rincon de la Vieja volcano in northwest Costa Rica will be boosted to 97 megawatts from 42 megawatts, Richard Willis, a spokesman for the Luxembourg-based lender, said today in an e-mail.

“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, he said.

The $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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephan Nielsen in Sao Paulo at snielsen8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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