December 2010 - A country whose GDP has been growing by 4.5% during the first quarters of 2010, and which carries an economic weight of such magnitude it is a candidate for becoming, in the near future, a key energy hub in Latin America: this is Colombia, where Enel operates through its Endesa subsidiary, as the largest private energy operator.
This year foreign investments in the country have significantly increased, exports have doubled, three million new jobs have been created and inflation has been reduced. Under the circumstances, Enel is renewing its support for a sustainable energy development, favoring the use of renewable, emission-free sources.
Enel Group’s CEO and Managing Director Fulvio Conti, Endesa’s President Francisco de Borja Prado Eulate, and President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos met recently to discuss these issues. Endesa currently owns nine hydroelectric and two thermal power plants in the country for a total capacity of about three thousand MW, which supply power to some 2.5 million Colombian clients, or a 24% market share.
Furthermore, Endesa has been assigned a contract for the construction, over the next four years, of the El Quimbo Hydroelectric Power Plant, which involves investments of about 837 million dollars. With its 400 MW of power and an annual production of 2,216 GW, the new power plant represents a strategic asset for the economy of the country and is going to contribute to its energy-efficiency policies.
A well-established presence
Speaking of Latin America, Colombia is only one of a number of area countries in which Enel is investing. Our company is also present in Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica – an area that is going to absorb investments in the order of 5 billion dollars for the next four years. Enel Group is also present in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina, with distribution grids 283 thousand kms long (176 thousand miles) in the main cities (Santiago, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires), and as many as 13 million clients. Also, thanks to Enel Green Power, it is one of the most important renewable source operators in Latin America, with 667 MW of installed capacity (hydro, wind, geothermal) in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.
Having visited Chile and Peru in May 2010 and having met the Presidents of these countries, Sebastián Piñera and Alan García, Enel’s CEO Conti returned to Latin America in November for a visit to Mexico. Conti talked with President Felipe Calderon and Minister of Economy Bruno Ferrari about the Group’s growth programs in the country, with special regard to green energy. In particular, several agreements have been signed regarding the construction, over the coming years, of wind farms for two thousand MW, which will be added to the three Enel hydroelectric plants of 53 MW.