Itabo power station

From Global Energy Monitor

[español]

Itabo power station is a 260-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Bajos de Haina, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.[1]

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the plant, which is near Bajos de Haina, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.

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Background

The two-unit, subcritical Itabo plant has been operational since the 1980s; Unit I (128 MW) and II (132 MW) went online in 1984 and 1988, respectively.[2] It is owned by Ege-Itabo, owned equally by the state-owned Generadora de Electricidad Itabo and AES Dominicana. The plant is one of the Dominican Republic's major electricity producers.[3]

In June 2020, AES announced plans to sell 100% of its equity interest in the Itabo plant to Dominican-based Grupo Linda for $110 million. The sale was expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2020, pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions.[4]

In December 2020, Fitch Ratings reported a negative outlook for plant owner EGE Itabo (Empresa Generadora de Electricidad Itabo S.A.) due to negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, but indicated that sale of AES's share in the plant to Grupo Linda was still set to close by year's end.[5]

In April 2021, the sale of Itabo finally closed, resulting in $100 million of proceeds for AES.[6][7]

Operational challenges

In July 2018 an estimated 30 tons of seaweed clogged the plant's cooling system and forced the plant to be shut down.[8] In June 2019 the plant was shut down due to the accumulation of sargassum, a kind of algae, in its cooling units.[9] Greater quantities of sargassum have been linked to climate change and higher sea temperatures off the coasts of Brazil and West Africa, from which sargassum floats to the Carribbean.[10] In May 2020 there was another recurrence of the sargassum seaweed problem at the plant despite the introduction of mitigation measures. Power output at units 1 and 2 was restricted because of this latest outbreak.[11]

Proposed Shutdown of Units 1 & 2

In September 2014, Omar Ramírez Tejada, Executive Vice President of CNCCMDL (the Dominican National Council on Climate Change and Clean Development) was quoted as saying that Itabo I and II would be shut down as soon as the 752 MW Punta Catalina coal plant commenced operations in 2017.[12] By 2020, however, even with the Punta Catalina plant fully operational, the Itabo plant continued to supply more than 10% of the country's electricity.[3] Under terms of a sale agreement negotiated in 2020, AES Dominicana has agreed to continue operating the plant at least through 2023, in exchange for a management fee from prospective new owner Grupo Linda.[5]

Proposed Unit 3 Expansion

In March 2013, the Dominican national electricity agency CDEEE (Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales) signed an agreement with AES Dominicana for the construction of a 300 MW, US$800 million third unit at Itabo, to be financed by a mix of public and private funds.[13]

Itabo III, SRL, is listed as one of the many subsidiaries of AES.[14]

As of January 2017, the Latin American business website BNAmericas stated that the Itabo III expansion was still "awaiting construction decision."[15] However, since that time, AES Dominicana has only listed the Itabo I and II plants on its website, and has made no mention of the Itabo III project.[1]

Meanwhile, scant press reports about Itabo III indicate that there has been no movement on the expansion project since 2013. A September 2015 article in Vanguardia del Pueblo noted that plant sponsor Ege-Itabo had not spoken about the project in more than two years[16], and an August 2017 report in El Caribe cites Itabo III's demise as a direct consequence of the Dominican government's backing of the much larger Punta Catalina coal project.[17]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: EGE Itabo (Empresa Generadora de Electricidad Itabo S.A.)[1]
  • Parent company: Generadora de Electricidad Itabo, Grupo Linda[18]
  • Location: Bajos de Haina, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic
  • Coordinates: 18.4057971, -70.0271693 (exact)
  • Status:
    • Unit 1: Operating (1984)[2]
    • Unit 2: Operating (1988)[2]
    • Unit 3: Cancelled
  • Gross Capacity:
    • Unit 1: 128 MW[1]
    • Unit 2: 132 MW[1]
    • Unit 3: 250-300 MW
  • Type:
  • Coal Type: Bituminous
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Empresa Generadora de Electricidad ITABO, S.A." AES Dominicana. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Informe Estadístico 2012 (p 22)" (PDF). AES Dominicana. 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Tres empresas generadoras responsables de suplir casi el 60 % de la electricidad del país". Diario Libre. September 27, 2020.
  4. "AES To Sell Itabo Power Plant To Grupo Linda For $110 Mln". Nasdaq. June 30, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Fitch Affirms Itabo's Ratings at 'BB-'; Outlook Remains Negative". Fitch Ratings. December 16, 2020.
  6. Motley Fool Transcribers (2021-05-06). "AES Corp (AES) Q1 2021 Earnings Call Transcript | The Motley Fool". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  7. "BNamericas - Dominican Republic clears AES asset sale". BNamericas.com. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  8. Tons of seaweed force shutdown of major power plants in the Dominican Republic, GulfCaribe, Jul. 27, 2018
  9. El sargazo amenaza la producción de energía eléctrica en Dominicana, Diario Libre, Jun. 20, 2019
  10. Sargassum: a continuing challenge, Dominican Today, May 31, 2019
  11. Seaweed cripples major Dominican power plant, Dominican Today, May 11, 2020
  12. "Nuevas plantas de carbón Baní sacarían del sistema Itabo I y II,", Hoy Digital, September 11, 2014.
  13. "CDEEE y AES construirán planta a carbón Itabo III de 300 megavatios,", Hoy Digital, March 25, 2013.
  14. "AES Corp. 2015 Form 10-K Exhibit 21.1," U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Feb 27, 2016
  15. "Proyecto Termoeléctrico Itabo III,", BNAmericas website, accessed January 2017
  16. "Punta Catalina ingresará US$1,200 millones créditos," Vanguardia del Pueblo, September 14, 2015
  17. "La recomendación 76 debe ser ignorada," El Caribe, August 8, 2017
  18. "BNamericas - Dominican Republic clears AES asset sale". BNamericas.com. Retrieved 2021-06-16.

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External resources