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Invenergy-led venture completes financing on El Salvador power/LNG project

A partnership including U.S.-based private energy developer Invenergy LLC has completed financing on a project it says will transform the country of El Salvador's energy sector.

The roughly $1 billion Energía del Pacífico project, which includes a 378-MW power plant to be fueled by gas delivered from a floating storage regasification unit and a 230-kV transmission line, represents the largest private investment ever in El Salvador, Invenergy said in a Dec. 23 news release.

Invenergy's partners in the project, called EDP, include El Salvador-based firms Grupo Calleja, VC Energy de Centroamerica and Quantum Energy SA de CV.

Construction on the project, in the port of Acajutla, has already begun, and Invenergy said it should be in operation by the end of 2021.

EDP has agreements with Royal Dutch Shell PLC unit Shell International Trading Middle East Ltd. for gas, and with seven local electric distribution utilities for the output of the power plant. The LNG will be regasified at a facility moored permanently offshore, then piped to the power plant. The 45-km transmission line will connect the plant to the six-nation Central American Electrical Interconnection System.

The facility will reduce El Salvador's use of diesel and heavy fuel oil in its power plants, Invenergy said.

Lending was provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corp., International Finance Corp., IDB Invest, Finnish Export Credit Ltd. and KfW IPEX-Bank. White & Case served as transaction counsel, Arias as Salvadoran counsel and Astris Finance acted as financial adviser for EDP.