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Nicaragua: IDB supports geothermal projects

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Inter-American Development Bank last month offered to lend up to $60 million to support Nicaraguan geothermal projects.

Private-sector companies, either local or foreign, as well as public-private partnerships, would be eligible for loans.

The bank’s proposal includes access to studies of the location and quality of potential geothermal reservoirs.

Nicaragua could be the largest source of geothermal energy in Central America. with potential capacity of 1,700 megawatts, according to official sources.

Incentives available for renewable energy producers include exemption from income tax for a period of up to seven years, along with an exemption from tariffs on imported machinery and equipment.

For its part, United States-based Polaris Infrastructure Inc., last year started a program to drill additional wells, in order to increase output at its San Jacinto geothermal operation.

The plant has a capacity of 48 megawatts, some 24 megawatts below initial projections.

Other areas of potential geothermal production include Cosiguina, Casita-San Cristóbal, Telica-El Ñajo, El Hoyo-Monte Galán, Momotombo, Chiltepe, Tipitapa, and Masaya-Granada-Nandaime, according to a government report.