Termotasajero proceeds with coal-fired plant

Termotasajero proceeds with coal-fired plant

Project & Infrastructure Finance Energy Loans Colombia

Colombia's Termotasajero is "taking concrete steps" to finance Tasajero III, a 200 MW coal-fired thermal plant in San Cayetano, a source has told LatinFinance.

The electricity company is expected to secure financing in the first quarter of next year, pushed by an energy shortage in Colombia amid delays at the Ituango hydroelectric power plant, the source said.

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) had closed a $1bn financing package for Ituango in January, but landslides in April and May forced the company to delay opening the dam by three years.

Termotasajero has resumed plans for Tasajero III after cancelling the project in May. CEO Hernando Díaz Martínez said at the time the government was "not convinced" by coal-fired energy projects and was pushing instead for more renewable energy projects, according to press reports.

In August, the Ministry of Mining and Energy announced guidelines for its first unconventional renewable power auction to be held in January 2019. The government agency will award 10-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) for up to 3,442 GWh per year of electricity.

Termotasajero nabbed a $216m syndicated loan led by Bancolombia, Banco de Bogotá, and Itaú Corpbanca for two other plants, Tasajero I and Tasajero II, in September and promised to make the projects more "environmentally friendly," the source said.