AEI's Jaguar Energy Guatemala begins construction of a new 300MW solid fuel fired power generation facility. The project's total investment is expected to be above $700m with commercial operations of the power plant scheduled for 2013.

The power plant will be built by China Machine New Energy. It is the result of an international public bidding process for a new project and power purchase agreements held by the local distribution companies DEORSA and DEOCSA under the supervision of the minister of energy and mines and the National Electricity Commission.

Jim Hughes, CEO of AEI, said: “This project will significantly increase the supply of reliable, thermal base load energy in Guatemala. Importantly, this energy will be priced against global solid fuel market prices resulting in competitively priced energy that diversifies Guatemala’s energy matrix and reduces the exposure to global oil prices.

“We would not have been successful in the absence of a demonstrated history in Guatemala of stable legal and regulatory frameworks and a fair and equitable investment environment with clearly defined energy policies, with which the project is entirely consistent.”

The power plant will be equipped with the technology that allows coal and other solid fuels to be used to generate reliable and cost efficient electricity within strict international standards on environmental, health and safety guidelines including compliance with the equator principles and international finance corporation’s performance standards and environmental, health and safety guidelines.

Jaguar Energy recently closed long-term financing that includes a $350 million construction and term loan to be provided by a syndicate of regional and international banks led by Banca de Inversión Bancolombia Corporación Financiera S.A. (BI Bancolombia) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI).

The company said that the remaining funds for the project will come from AEI equity and from vendor financing provided by the EPC contractor.