Kuwaiti agency financing small hydro development in Cuba
By Michael Harris
Cuba has signed a deal with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic
Development that will see KFAED provide US$30 million in financing for
the construction of 34 small hydropower projects.
The agreement, signed this week in Havana, targets Cuba's rural areas
with the hope that improved energy supplies will decrease immigration
toward cities and stimulate agricultural production.
KFAED said the 34 small hydro projects will be constructed on existing
infrastructure and have a cumulative capacity of about 14.6 MW. The
initiative will also include the construction of three linking
substations that will transmit to Cuba's national grid, along with about
75 km of transmission line.
The organization also said the financing will lead to the "expansion of
scientific research centers and universities to enhance in general the
development of the hydropower sector, as well as the institutional
support and consulting services for the detailed designs, preparing
tender documents and supervision of the project."
The 21-year loan includes a grace period of seven years and is expected
to cover about 40% of the project's overall costs. The remainder will be
paid for by the Government of Cuba.
KFAED did not specify when it expects the first small hydro plant to
come on line, but that the initiative should be completed within seven
Cuba has shown an interest in developing its hydro sector in recent
months, with the Caribbean island benefitting from an International
Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Fund
for Development (ADFD) in November. That partnership will also increase
the country's access to small hydro.
Source: Kuwaiti agency financing small hydro development in Cuba -