Magdalena Sugar Mill plant

From Global Energy Monitor


Magdalena Sugar Mill plant, known as Planta Eléctrica Ingenio Magdalena in Spanish, is a coal- and biomass-fired plant located in La Democracia, Escuintla, Guatemala.


The map below shows the plant, located in La Democracia, Escuintla, Guatemala.

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In September 2011, Ingenio Magdalena announced plans to convert its onsite power plant to run on a mix of biomass and coal, and to increase generation capacity to 120 megawatts with the installation of two 60 MW turbo-generators. The upgraded units are designed to run on bagasse (cellulose fiber from crushed sugar cane stalks) during the November to May harvest season, then switch to coal between June and October.[1]

The first of Magdalena's two coal-fired units came online in November 2012,[2][3] and the second began generating power in late 2014.[4][5]

Guatemala's Ministry of Energy and Mines lists the coal-fired units as No 6 and 7, with an installed capacity of 57.432 and 57.287 MW, respectively. The Magdalena plant has four other units (No 1, 3, 4 and 5) that run on biomass only, or on a combination of biomass and bunker.[6]

Ingenio Magdalena has contracts with Guatemala’s national energy agency EEGSA (Empresa Eléctrica de Guatemala S.A.) to supply a fraction of its electrical output to the national grid.[7]The plant also sells small amounts of energy to other Central American countries via the Mercado Eléctrico Regional.[8][9]

In addition to Ingenio Magdalena, several other Guatemalan sugar mills (Pantaleón, Santa Ana, Santa Lucía, Trinidad, Palo Gordo, La Unión, Madre Tierra, San Diego, and San Isidro) are also developing small-scale electrical plants fueled by the same mix of coal and sugar cane residue.[6][10][11][12][13][14]

At the national level Guatemala continues to move away from coal towards renewables. Under the new contracts signed by national electricity agency EEGSA during Guatemala's February 2020 energy tender, plants burning coal only will account for 8% of national electricity production in 2021 (down from 18% in 2019) while plants such as Ingenio Magdalena that use a mix of coal and biomass will represent 2% of national production in 2021.[15]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Ingenio Magdalena (Magdalena Sugar)[2]
  • Parent company: Ingenio Magdalena (Magdalena Sugar)
  • Location: La Democracia, Escuintla, Guatemala
  • Coordinates: 14.121556, -90.92725 (exact)
  • Status:
    • Unit 6: Operating (2012)[2]
    • Unit 7: Operating (2014)[4]
  • Gross Capacity:
    • Unit 6: 57 MW[6]
    • Unit 7: 57 MW[6]
  • Type:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. "Guatemala: $8.9 million Investment in Coal-Based Electricity," Central America Data, Sep. 27, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Ingenio Magdalena pone en operación planta generadora en Guatemala". Revista Summa. 2012-11-21.
  3. "More Energy From Sugar Mills," Central America Data, November 21, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Generación eléctrica por medio de carbón gana terreno en Guatemala,", América Economía, September 25, 2013.
  5. "Nuestros productos: Energía,", Ingenio Magdalena website, accessed January 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Plan de Expansión del Sistema de Generación y Transporte 2020-2034 (pp 50-51)" (PDF). Ministerio de Energía y Minas de Guatemala. 2020.
  7. "Informe Avanzado 2019" (PDF). EEGSA. March 10, 2020.
  8. "Plantas de carbón aportarán 900 MW". Prensa Libre. January 5, 2015.
  9. "Informe Estadístico 2019" (PDF). AMM (Administrador del Mercado Mayorista). January 2020.
  10. "RECOPILACIÓN DE LA INFORMACIÓN DE LOS SIMPOSIOS DE ANÁLISIS DE LA ZAFRA 1997/1998 – 2014/2015 DE GENERACIÓN DE ENERGÍA" (PDF). Cengicaña: Centro Guatemalteco de Investigación y Capacitación de la Caña de Azúcar. December 2015.
  11. "Guatemala: inauguran planta térmica de generación eléctrica,", Estrategia y Negocios, October 27, 2014.
  12. "Guatemala: Plantas de carbón aportarán 900 MW,", Revista Summa, January 5, 2015.
  13. "Ingenios dejan búnker,", Prensa Libre, August 12, 2015.
  14. "Ingenio Magdalena inaugura planta eléctrica en Retalhuleu,", Prensa Libre, May 20, 2016.
  15. "Del carbón a la energía limpia: Así son los nuevos contratos de generación de EEGSA". Prensa Libre. February 13, 2020.

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External resources