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Yen for geothermal development

Monday, November 25, 2013

Japan has offered to lend Costa Rica up to $555 million for geothermal energy projects.

The congress of each country must be approve a cooperation agreement, signed last week, which offers near-zero rates of interest, on funds used to buy Japanese goods and services, and which includes a ten-year initial period, which requires essentially zero repayment.

Costa Rica plans to develop two projects, Pailas II and Borinquen I, in the volcanic region of Rincon de la Vieja.

The country’s potential geothermal capacity is close to 800 megawatts, of which less than half of which is currently exploited.

Existing projects are Miravalles, and Pailas I, with a capacity of 165 MW and 135 MW, respectively.

Geothermal energy, which generates no greenhouse cases and which is cheap to produce, uses steam from underground volcanic activity.

The agreement is the result of a meeting of Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and then-Prime Minister Yohishiko Noda in Japan in 2011.