Today, the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant published an article on the recent developments regarding the Barro Blanco hydro power project in Panama. The article refers to one of the letters sent by the international lenders (a.o. FMO) where the lenders request the Panamanian Government to resume the construction works on the dam. We would like to highlight that in multiple conversations and correspondence with all involved parties, the lenders have emphasized the severe safety- and environmental risks of the unfinished dam construction. These risks have been elevated as a result of the start of the rain season in May. The Panamanian government recently has decided that the construction works will be finished and the project completed. The lenders commend this decision.
In the meantime, both the lenders, as well as their client Genisa, have been regularly in touch with the Panamanian Government to show their commitment in finding a solution acceptable for all stakeholders involved in and affected by the project, including the indigenous communities in Panama. The lenders fully support the continuous dialogue table in Panama and hope that all involved parties and stakeholders will reach out to achieve a constructive dialogue and a solution for a way forward.
It is in the mandate of FMO to empower entrepreneurs in developing countries to build a better world. With their contribution to this hydropower project in Panama, the lenders but specifically the private sector partner and their project aim to deliver clean, affordable and stable energy to the people of Panama and thereby assist them in their economic growth and livelihood improvement ambitions.
Panama has an impressive percentage of more than 50% renewable of its total energy capacity. The Barro Blanco project will generate 28MW of clean energy to Panama, enough to supply 50.000 households. It generates and support jobs in the region and avoids the import of 180.000 barrels of oil, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.