The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today approved a US$200M loan to Empresas Públicas de Medellín to support the construction of the Porce III hydroelectric power project in Colombia.

The 660MW power plant, located 147km northeast of Medellín, is expected to begin operations in 2010. The plant’s output will be connected with the national grid and will contribute to meeting Colombia’s growing electric power demand.

IDB’s loan is for a 20 year term, with a seven year grace period, at a variable interest rate. Local funds will finance US$711M of the project.

Porce river watershed is the site of seven other hydroelectric power projects, major contributors to Colombia’s electric power system. IDB has provided about US$2.75B in financing to Colombia to support 35 projects accounting for about 30% of the country’s current generating capacity.