Bahía las Minas power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Bahía las Minas power station (Central termoeléctrica Bahía las Minas) is a retired 120 megawatt (MW) power station in Bahía las Minas, Cativa, Colón, Panama.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Bahía las Minas power station Bahía las Minas, Cativa, Colón, Panama 9.37961, -79.82189 (exact)[1]

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1: 9.37961, -79.82189
  • Unit 3, Unit 2, Unit 1: 9.379612, -79.821886

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology CHP Start year Retired year
Unit 3 retired coal - bituminous 40 subcritical 2011 2021
Unit 2 retired coal - bituminous 40 subcritical 2011 2021
Unit 1 retired coal - bituminous 40 subcritical 2011 2021

CHP is an abbreviation for Combined Heat and Power. It is a technology that produces electricity and thermal energy at high efficiencies. Coal units track this information in the Captive Use section when known.

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner Operator
Unit 3 Celsia [100.0%]
Unit 2 Celsia [100.0%]
Unit 1 Celsia [100.0%]


Comprising a 120 MW coal-fired power plant[2] and a 160 MW gas-fired combined cycle power plant[3], Bahía las Minas power station was Panama's largest generator of electricity.[4] Originally built and commissioned in 1988[5] as a two-unit diesel-fired plant[6], it was converted to run partially on coal in 2011.[7] The plant was retired in 2021.[8][9] During operation, the subcritical coal plant burned bituminous coal.[6] The plant was sponsored by Celsia[4] under parent company Grupo Argos S.A.[10]

In December 2018 workers at the plant staged a walk-out to protest the plant's possible closure in January 2019 when it was projected to run out of operating capital.[11] The government of President Juan Carlos Varela subsequently agreed to contribute 19 million balboas and Grupo Celsia agreed to contribute 20 million balboas toward keeping the plant operating.[12] However, in June 2019, Panama's executive branch ruled that Bahía las Minas needed to compete in the upcoming energy tender administered by state energy agency ETESA as a precondition for receiving the government's share of the funds.[13] The energy tender took place in February 2020, and Bahía las Minas was successful in its bid for a short-term contract to supply energy through December 2022.[14]

As of May 2021, discussions had begun with the Panamanian government regarding the closure or reconversion of the coal-fired power plant by approximately 2024.[15] In June 2021, Panamanian president Laurentino Cortizo announced that the country's existing coal plants would be retired or converted to cleaner fuels by the end of 2023.[8]

Initial reports indicated that decommissioning the financially challenged Bahía Las Minas plant might take up to two years, during which period the plant would need to remain available to the national grid.[16] However, in September 2021 Panama's public services regulator ASEP authorized disconnection of Bahía las Minas from the grid[8], and Celsia CEO Ricardo Serra stated that decommissioning would take place by the end of 2021.[17] Celsia's financial report for the fourth quarter of 2021 indicated that the Bahía Las Minas plant had ceased generating power and that all of its assets had been liquidated.[9]

Articles and Resources


  1. GEODB0043529
  2. Bahía las Minas Coal Power Plant, IndustryAbout, May 1, 2019
  3. "BAHÍA LAS MINAS" (PDF). Celsia. Retrieved September 14, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Centrales termoelectricas". Celsia. Retrieved 2021-01-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "Historia del servicio de energía en Panamá". ETESA. Retrieved January 8, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Plan de Expansión del Sistema Interconectado Nacional 2018–2032" (PDF). ETESA. 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "Proyecto de carbón de BLM costó $165 millones". La Prensa Panamá. June 9, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Deudas y cambio climático acorralan planta de carbón". Observatorio SAOT (Sociedad, Ambiente y Ordenamiento Territorial) (in español). October 4, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Financial Results 4th Quarter – 2021 (pp 10, 15)" (PDF). Celsia. May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "Sobre nosotros". Celsia. Retrieved 2021-01-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. Bahía Las Minas y Gobierno exploran alternativas, La Estrella de Panamá, Dec. 22, 2018
  12. Celsia y govierno de Panama acuerdan aporte en planta de balia las minas, Valora Analitik, Dec. 31, 2018
  13. "Los arrastres de Bahía Las Minas". La Prensa. August 4, 2019.
  14. "RESOLUCIÓN DE ADJUDICACIÓN - LPI No.ETESA 02-19 - ETESA - Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica". ETESA. March 31, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. "Avanzan las negociaciones para el cierre o reconversión definitiva de centrales a carbón en Panamá". Energía Estratégica. May 12, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. "Bahía Las Minas cerraría por problemas financieros". The World News. April 29, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. "Panama shutters last coal-fired power plant". BNamericas. September 28, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Additional data

To access additional data, including interactive maps of the power stations, downloadable datases, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker and the Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.