Rome, May 31st 2010 - The new Guatemala project of Enel Green Power the Enel Group company devoted to the development and management of renewable energy sources in Italy and the rest of the world with the support of Simest, the public-private holding company that promotes the development of Italian enterprises abroad, is now under way.
The project involves the construction and operation of a new run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant in the Department of Quiche, which will have a total capacity of 84 MW and will rely on the natural water flow of the Cotzal river and its three tributaries. The total investment will amount to 185 million euros.
The "Palo Viejo" plant will be capable of producing 370 million kWh annually, therefore avoiding the atmospheric emission of 280,000 tons of CO2.
The Enel Group is already present in Guatemalas renewables sector: Central and South America are in fact among the Group's main areas of operation, with over 664 MW of installed capacity, the bulk of which in the hydroelectric sector.
"It is a source of great satisfaction to us", remarked Massimo D'Aiuto, CEO of Simest, "to contribute to a project of this scale, which will enable Enel Green Power to develop even further in this area. We are completing our participation in the Guatemalan company, which, together with the public venture capital fund, will total 6%, with a financial commitment of 10 million euros. The renewables industry represents a significant portion of our activity and has been expanding recently. Last year, for example, we implemented projects with major Italian companies involving more than 720 million euros in international investments, with a Simest commitment of more than 34.5 million euros, equal to about 22% of our current commitments."
Francesco Starace, Chairman of Enel Green Power, said "We are pleased to launch this important partnership with Simest, with whom we hope to continue working on future projects like Palo Viejo, which will help spur economic development while protecting the environment. The project we are about to implement confirms our capacity for growth in the renewables industry of Latin America, where we already have a strong presence, including other hydroelectric plants. Thanks to this new initiative, we will increase our existing "zero-emission" generation capacity in Guatemala by over 140%."
SIMEST S.p.A. is a public-private holding company whose shareholders include leading Italian banks and business associations. Its mission is to promote the growth of Italian companies abroad. The company may take stakes of up to 49% in foreign companies outside the European Union, both through direct investment and via the venture capital fund. From 2010 Simest can acquire minority stakes in the European Union, including Italy, under market conditions. The company also manages financial aid for international expansion and provides technical support and business consulting services (business scouting, match-making and procurement) on behalf of Italian companies who are taking steps to expand internationally.
Enel Green Power, established in December 2008, is the Enel Group company devoted to the development and management of power generation from renewable resources at the international level, with a presence in Europe and the Americas. It is world leader in its industry thanks to the some 21 billion kWh of electricity generated from water, the sun, wind and the heat of the earth, enough to meet the consumption needs of some 7.5 million households and avoid the emission of 13 million tonnes of CO2 each year. The company's installed capacity totals about 5,700 MW, produced by more than 600 plants in operation in 16 countries in Europe and the Americas, with a generation mix that includes wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass.