French Development Agency finances solar project in Bolivia with €11.5 million

Bolivia’s Minister of Development Planning Mariana Prado has signed a donation agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD) for a €11.5 million financing.

The ministry said the funds will be used to leverage further financing for a 50 MW solar project in Bolivia from the Latin American Investment Facility of the European Union. The project’s estimated investment is $43 million. The solar plant, named Planta Solar Fotovoltaica Oruro, is scheduled to come online in 2018.

The Bolivian government and the AFD signed a memorandum of understanding for the financing in 2015. Bolivia’s state-owned power utility Empresa Nacional de Energía (ENDE) issued a tender for the construction of a 50 MW solar power plant in the town of Oruro, western Bolivia, in April 2016.

At the beginning of June, Ende revealed that it has received bids for the project. Interested developers are: Consorcio Solairedirect – Isotron, Power China Guizhov Engineering Corp., Powerchina Zhangnan Engineering , Sacyr Fluor, TSK Electrónica y Electricidad S.A., Prodiel S.L. – Ingeniería y Construcciones Santa Fe S.A – Ensacruz Ltda., Grupotec y Asociados, CCC – Yingli Consortinm, Efacec – Ingeniería e Sisternas, Sumec, Sterling and Wilson PVT Ltd., Zhuhai Singyes Green, Consorcio Fotovoltaico Oruro, APCA – Gildemeister LSG Beteiligungs Gmbtt., Enerray y Asociados, and TBEA.

The project, which is planned to be built in several phases and to reach a final capacity of 100 MW, is one of a few large-scale PV projects being developed in Bolivia. Another project of this magnitude is the 60 MW Uyuni PV project, which is being planned for the district of Potosí.

In Bolivia only one PV plant has been built to date, a 5 MW PV project in the Pando Department. This project is connected to a microgrid.