- Presidencia de la República de Panamá
Panama and the USA agreed on Friday to promote infrastructure projects for energy development from renewable sources in the Central American country, which this day inaugurated the first generation plant based on liquefied natural gas (LNG), of US capital, of the region.
The agreement establishes that the two countries will promote projects of renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, distribution, transmission, as well as investment in infrastructure.
"The signing of this memorandum of understanding between Panama and the United States establishes the promotion and energetic cooperation, driving investment in infrastructure, renewable energy, as well as the
distribution and transmission of energy," said the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).
The agreement was signed by the Panamanian ministers in charge of the Presidency, Salvador Sánchez, and Economy and Finance, Gustavo Valderrama, and by the Undersecretary for International Affairs of the Department of the Treasury of the United States, David Malpass.
"This cooperation framework will expand and enhance economic growth to help both nations, and will help catalyze private investment in all phases of the energy value chain, encompassing the exploration and production, generation, transmission and distribution of energy." Undersecretary Malpass said.
The US Embassy made an exchange of messages to "continue to diversify the sources of energy in Panama to boost economic growth, and also to expand the role of Panama as a platform for distribution of liquefied natural gas to Central America and the Caribbean."
Integrating natural gas as an energy source for refining and processing to advance Panama's environmental objectives and make its economy more competitive is another purpose of the agreement.
In addition, "accelerate the adoption of innovative energy production technologies, including renewable, mini and micro matrixes, as well as energy storage systems in batteries, which seeks to help achieve the integration of energy sources and catalyze investments in rural areas and crucial infrastructures, as well as Panama’s energy resilience".
The two countries agreed to "increase access to the energy matrix, bring electricity to the disadvantaged population, and improve the reliability, resiliance and efficiency of national energy systems."
The signing of the agreement "is a great step forward for the United States and Panama," the senior US official said.
Panama’s Secretariat of Energy, presided by Víctor Urrutia, indicated that Panamanians and Americans agreed to "encourage and promote exchange on the issues of investment, infrastructure and renewable sources."
Panama opened on Friday the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) power generation plant and the first receiving terminal for that hydrocarbon in Central America, which will begin to be distributed in the region by 2019 and will aim to bring 25% percent of the potential market.
"Panama will become an electric power center and also an exporter of liquefied natural gas," said AES CEO Andrés Gluski, the US company that built this $ 1.15 billion megaproject with an installed capacity of 381 megawatts, located in the Caribbean city of Colón.