Colombia’s Minister of Mining and Energy Carlos Rodado announced Monday that Colombia and Panama will be investing 420 million dollars in constructing a new electricity line capable of connecting the northern Andes region of Colombia with the rest of Central America, in an interview with Caracol Radio.
The Minister confirmed that Panama and Colombia will each contribute half of the money necessary to construct the line. The Colombian firm Interconexión Eléctrica S.A (ISA) and the Panamanian Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica (ETESA) will both be responsible for the construction and financing.
However, ETESA was unable to front the full cost of the project so the Panamanian government will be jump-starting the project with an initial $90 million investment and providing an additional $120 million as collateral, according to El Espectador.
The electricity line will carry a capacity of 14,000 mega-volts from Cordoba, Colombia along the Caribbean coast to Panama and should be completed by 2014. In addition to its arrival in Panama, the line will also be able to carry electricity to other Central American countries, the Colombian minister affirmed.
The construction has been approved on the condition that it does not endanger areas rich in biodiversity, such as the Darien Gap forest and swampland that occupies the border between Panama and Colombia.