- The project will generate renewable energy, improve access to drinking water for the inhabitants of the project's area of influence, and help conserve biodiversity
IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, approved a $20.25 million loan to support the development, construction and operation of the Jilamito Hydroelectric Project, a run-of-river plant located in the municipality of Arizona, in northern Honduras. The financing reaffirms the IDB Group's commitment to the economic development of Honduras and is part of the investment package to support the country in facing the current crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the damage caused by hurricanes Eta and Iota.
The project will increase the availability of electricity on the country's Atlantic coast, where the third most important city in Honduras is located, thus contributing to the social and economic development of this region.
Jilamito will reduce dependence on costly and polluting thermal energy sources, and will support the diversification of the country's energy matrix by adding 14.8 MW of renewable energy capacity and supplying, on average, about 85.8 gigawatt hours (GWh) annual clean energy to the national grid.
In the economic sphere, the project is expected to positively impact the communities by generating opportunities for the supply of goods and services in the area, promoting the construction of new roads, creating new jobs and improving ecosystem services. It is estimated that 400 new jobs will be created during the construction phase.
IDB Invest’s participation will promote the application of the highest international environmental and social standards to manage impacts on the environment and local communities throughout the loan cycle.
The project will also invest in community initiatives, on issues such as the supply of drinking water, education, health and conservation of forests and watersheds, it will improve the drinking water system of 12 communities in its area of influence and, in collaboration with biologists and national academics and international, will develop a Biodiversity Study Center in the Texiguat Wildlife Reserve. The reforestation plan of the project includes planting 58,000 plants in 77 hectares to recover areas of a region that is part of the jungle ecosystem.
The project will be operated by Inversiones de Generación Eléctricas, S.A. (INGELSA), a Honduran company set up specifically to develop, build, and operate the Jilamito hydroelectric plant and that has recently obtained a corporate responsibility award thanks to the development with the highest sustainability standards of the Mezapa hydroelectric project in Honduras.
The Jilamito Hydroelectric Project joins the deals approved so far this year by IDB Invest in Honduras, reaching a total amount of $186 million, including a $96 million loan to promote the value chain of the textile sector in Honduras together with Grupo Elcatex.
About IDB Invest
IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $13.1 billion in asset management and 385 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.