Transformative LNG-to-power project lights up El Salvador, accelerates region's energy transition
Invenergy, the largest privately held global developer, owner, and operator of sustainable solutions, has reached commercial operations at the Energía del Pacífico (EDP) LNG-to-power project, located at the Port of Acajutla in El Salvador. The completion of EDP is a major uplift in electric reliability and lower emissions through natural gas supply to the Central American region. The project represents the country’s largest ever private foreign direct investment and is providing clean and reliable power to meet up to 30% of El Salvador’s energy demand.
By shifting a significant amount of power supply to natural gas, EDP reduces El Salvador’s reliance on diesel and heavy fuel oil-fired power generation, offsetting 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, and provides grid support to facilitate more renewable energy penetration, further diversifying the country’s energy mix.
The commercial operations milestone for the state-of-the-art, historic energy infrastructure project was achieved in the spring of 2022, despite significant obstacles as a result of the worst global pandemic in modern history. These challenges included supply-chain disruptions, travel restrictions, airport closures, and global financial volatility. Despite these unprecedented circumstances, EDP maintained the highest standard of COVID-19 health and safety protocols during construction to deliver the project.
The project is comprised of a 380-megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired power plant, a permanently moored floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), a 1.8-km subsea pipeline that connects the power plant to the FSRU, and two 230-kV electric transmission lines, one of which connects to the Central American Electrical Interconnection System, providing added grid reliability to the region and opening further opportunities for renewable energy in El Salvador.
The more than $1 B transformative infrastructure project, the largest-ever private investment in El Salvador, was financed by leading global financial institutions U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, International Finance Corporation, IDB Invest, Finnish Export Credit Ltd and KfW IPEX-Bank. The project, which commenced building in early 2020, employed over 2,000 construction workers and its operations employ 80 people today. EDP has long-term contracts with seven local electric distribution companies under power purchase agreements.
“EDP marks a step change in the clean energy transition in Central America and for our work as innovators building a sustainable world. Bringing our landmark Energia del Pacifico project online during the pandemic is nothing short of remarkable and is a testament to Invenergy’s expertise and perseverance and remains a shining example of the opportunities that can be created when private initiatives have strong local government support.” said Michael Polsky, Invenergy Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “I am proud of Invenergy’s leadership in delivering a clean energy future for El Salvador.”
Invenergy served as lead developer of the EDP project with the support of El Salvador-based partners Grupo Calleja, VC Energy de Centroamerica and Quantum Energy. To construct the project, Invenergy worked with a consortium of global project partners including BW LNG, BW Offshore, SAAM Towage, Boskalis, Wärtsilä, Elecnor, and Shell.
The project’s construction and commercialization are already strengthening the Salvadoran economy. EDP supports local Acajutla communities through investments of $500,000 per year in economic and social development projects. Multiple social impact projects have already been completed, including the remodeling of schools and community centers, paving central roadways, electrification of homes and businesses, and infrastructure improvements, such as a new sewage and wastewater treatment plant. EDP is also committed to the environment and biodiversity in the region and helped create 150 artificial reefs, hosts educational workshops to promote the conservation of local ecosystems, supports local fishing cooperatives, among other environmental initiatives.