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20th Annual

Central American Energy Conference

June 15-16, 2017 • Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis • Panama City, Panama

Conference Agenda Print agenda Email link to a friend


Day 1: Thursday, June 15, 2017

7:15 Conference Registration and Networking Breakfast

Hosted by: Andrews Kurth Kenyo

8:15 Chairman's Welcome and Opening Remarks
Sampo Suvisaari, Regional Director, Latin America North and Caribbean, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions


Regional Economic Trends, Power Demand Outlook, and Development Plans


8:30 Regional Economic Trends—Their Impact on Development
Carlos Eduardo Colom Bickford, Director, Energia, Grupo IDC
Pablo F. Lutereau, Managing Director, Head of Latin America Infrastructure & Utilities Ratings, S&P Global Platts

  • Overview of credit quality in the Latin American region and specifically Central America
  • Credit trends in the region Country and company ratings
  • Major trends in infrastructure credit quality in the region Focus on energy, particularly power
  • External and internal factors driving credit quality
  • Why is the industrial sector not growing?
  • What is dragging/preventing improvement?
  • How much stagnation is due to global factors? How much, to regional?
  • How can new investment be attracted for industrial facilities?
  • What needs to be done Examples seen elsewhere
  • Cases that were successful in promoting investments

9:30 Central America’s Power Demand—Outlook and Potential for Increasing
Hugo Ventura, Chief of Energy Unit, Sub Regional Headquarters, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC)

  • Current oversupply/excess capacity For how long? When will new capacity be needed?
  • Possible drastic decrease in new power generation projects Effect of this lagging development over the long term
  • How can demand for electricity be grown?
  • Potential for electric cars and electric public transportation
  • Alternative potential for importing less expensive Mexican power; impact on competition
  • Electricity and natural gas Possible trade schemes with Mexico for the next decade

10:00 Networking & Refreshment Break

10:30 Attracting Investment for Industrial and Power Projects
Moderator: Vera A. Rechsteiner, Partner, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP
Marc Ricart, Chief Investment Officer & Managing Director, Structured and Corporate Finance, Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura, S.A. (CIFI)
Hernán Díaz del Castillo Fernandez, Structured Finance Manager, Banco Internacional de Costa Rica, S.A. (BICSA)
Maite Pina, Senior Investment Officer, Oikocredit International
Benjamin Moody, President & Chief Executive Officer, Pan American Finance LLC

  • What projects are investors interested in?
  • Rising interest rates Impact on investment return profiles
  • Effect of low pricing points of new PPAs
  • Financial weakness of off-takers How it hinders financing of projects
  • How current regulations might not help with sound financials for off-takers or is reflecting in high tariffs for users
  • Public-Private Partnerships PPP in Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica
  • Nicaragua's intentions to attract private investment
  • How good have investments been from the lenders'perspectives?
  • Importance of selecting a qualified project developer from the tender
    • sometimes lowest cost offers are accepted, but don't get built
    • instituting pre-qualification to separate offers that are not viable
    • instituting an effective bid and implementation process
    • what's required for success? experience and balance sheet
  • Financing trends in the Central American power and energy market
    • main terms and conditions
    • private PPAs
    • middle market
  • Energy project financing in Central America
    • power
    • renewable energy
  • Current investments in the region
  • Long-term view of the sector and projects that will be financed

12:00 Networking Luncheon

Hosted by: BWSC

1:15 Generation—Current Status, Future Plans, and Tenders
Ingrid Chávez de Mendoza, Gerente, Gerencia de Planificación Comercial, Distribuidora de Electricidad (DELSUR) SA de CV
Carlos Fernando Rodas, Manager, Management, Planning and Control, Empresa Electrica de Guatemala SA (EEGSA)
Jesús Arturo Mejía, Arita, Gerente General, Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica (ENEE)

  • El Salvador
    • current status and outlook for future composition of the energy matrix in El Salvador
    • main incentives for renewable projects
    • performance and status of renewable contracts signed in 2013 for new generation units in the distribution and transmission network
    • renewable solicitation update for 170 MW solar and wind projects
    • what´s next in El Salvador?
  • Guatemala
    • oversupply 1000 MW excess power
    • seasonal increase due to sugar harvest
    • tender for 380 MW new supply being prepared
    • separately, 40 MW geothermal tender
  • Honduras
    • installed capacity close to 2,320 MW, of which 388 MW is solar
    • currently under construction an additional 125 MW of solar energy
    • discretion of the technical team if there is excess solar energy
    • in 2017, expect to purchase approximately 114 MW of merchant and 136 MW in the Regional Market
    • in 2018, foresee a tender is for about 780 MW of firm energy (optimized bunker)
    • in 2021, a bidding process for 350 MW and in 2027 another process for 350 MW
    • no changes foreseen in the Law; it seeks to stimulate investment

2:45 Generation—Current Status, Future Plans, and Tenders
Ivan Barria Mock, Chief Executive Officer, Empresa de Transmision Electrica SA (ETESA)
Marianela Ramírez Leiva, Planificador, Grupo de Planificación, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad

  • Panama
    • reaching close to 75% of renewable generation
    • building the first LNG terminal
    • possibilities of a second and third terminal before 2020
    • progress on interconnection with Colombia
    • increasing power trading with Central America
    • prospects for Panama as an energy hub for the region
  • Costa Rica
    • electric matrix of Costa Rica' current and future composition
    • the importance of PH Reventazón and PH Diquis in the electricity system of the country
    • geothermal development
    • challenges for the country

3:45 Networking & Refreshment Break


Closing the Gap—Assuring Development of the Regional Market


4:15 PANEL DISCUSSION Achieving Regional Integration—Next Steps, Policies, Market Rules, and Interconnections
Moderator: Ana Gabriela (Gaby) Roca, Founding Partner, QIL+4 Abogados
Carlos Horacio Fernández Solórzano, Director Ejecutivo, Asociación Nacional de Generadores de Guatemala
Luis Arturo Cerna Rich, Regional Manager for Market Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Cuestamoras Comercializadora Eléctrica, S.A.
Jose Ramón Gómez, Senior Energy Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank
Edwin Rodas S., Presidente, Mercados Eléctricos de Mesoamerica, S.A.

  • Where are we now? State in the evolution of the Regional Market
  • What's holding up a functioning market?
    • challenges to increasing transactions in the MER
    • need to clearly define at the Normative Level the type of market we have
    • difficulties in the administration of the regional transmission network
    • the need for economic analysis as a complement to technical decisions
    • institutional strengthening
    • need to review and modify the regulation of the Regional Electricity Market in a comprehensive manner
  • Specific issues to be solved in the MER
    • analysis of commercial transactions which types are the most frequent and why?
    • market niche for export agents of Guatemala
    • the reality of firm contracts what is necessary for them to work?
    • legal certainty of the RMER, appeals and Third Protocol, and MER regulatory interference with Mexican Imports
  • SIEPAC structural requirements
  • Transmission development and interconnection
  • Issues raised by Mexico-Guatemala import
  • Potential for a regional portfolio approach
  • Potential for selling direct to industrial Can they write bi-lateral PPAs?
  • Potential for brokering to industrials?
  • Integrating renewables
  • Outlook for 2018-2020

5:45 Networking Cocktail Reception

Hosted byWärtsilä

6:45 Close of Day One


Day 2: Friday, June 16, 2017

7:45 Networking Breakfast

8:15 Chairman's Review of Day One
Raúl Carral, Ph.D., Business Development, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean, Energy Solutions, Wärtsilä North America Inc.


Generation Development—Strengthening and Diversifying the Portfolio


8:30 The Role of High Efficiency Power Plants in a Regional Integrated System
John Ingham, Application Engineering Director, Latin America, GE Gas Power Systems

  • Higher penetration of renewables leads to a highly variable grid
  • Flexible power generation
  • Grid stability
  • Best practices from other grid systems

9:00 Fuel Options—Natural Gas vs. LPG vs. Coal
Sampo Suvisaari, Regional Director, Latin America North and Caribbean, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions

  • Baseload options for Central America HFO, LPG, coal, and natural gas
  • Shall we put all the eggs in one basket? Value of diversification
  • Global impact of oil price on HFO, LPG, and natural gas prices
  • All-in costs Sources, distance, and shipping?
  • Receiving terminal solutions

9:30 Establishing a Transitional Framework for Generation Development in Central America
Nestor Sanchez, Business Development Manager, Aggreko LLC

  • Power generation projects Commercial and technical advantages of a short and mid-term investment option versus full CAPEX and 15-25 year PPA models
  • Baseload diversification for the regionF uel options with HFO and natural gas
  • Transitional flexible power Helping the markets achieve their electric portfolio objectives
  • Practical business case High-efficiency HFO power generation, potential for LNG generation, and CNG generation with virtual pipeline

10:00 Networking & Refreshment Break

10:30 CASE STUDY The Future of Natural Gas in the Region
Miguel Bolinaga, Country Manager, AES in Panama
Alejandro Alle, Executive Director, Energía del Pacífico

  • Regulatory framework
  • Updates on projects
    • which are likely to reach commercial operation by 2019?
    • financing, construction, and timeline to COD
    • biggest obstacles
    • interconnections
    • how can all be feasible at the same time?
    • if three are in Panama, where will they sell their power?
  • Progress of AES
    • started construction, being built right on Canal
    • online 2018
    • what will they do with extra capacity domestic uses and exportation
  • Energía del Pacífico S.A. in Acajutla, El Salvador
    • multilateral supporting
    • financial close plans
  • Impact of potentially 3 large projects on prices in the region
  • Other markets being considered for LNG delivery
  • Potential for small scale LNG
  • What will happen to phased-out technology Fuel oil plants? Repowering to run on natural gas?
  • How to accelerate the domestic and industrial use of natural gas? Satellite LNG stations? Vehicle conversion?

11:30 CASE STUDY LPG in the Electricity Matrix—Roatan Electric Company, Honduras
Steve Cromeens, Project Director, Roatan Electric Company

  • Decision to use propane as our primary fuel
  • Size of the plant to be constructed 28 MW
  • Type of generating equipment to be used
  • Choosing our team (engineers, contractors, etc.)
  • Pitfalls to watch out for
  • Start-up and successful operation

12:00 CASE STUDY Providing Flexibility to the Central American Power Market with LPG
Carlos Mousadi, Sales Director, Americas, APR Energy

  • Dealing with HFO and diesel price increases and volatility
  • Reducing the environmental impact of generation emissions
  • The potential for saving money by switching to LPG
  • Choosing turbines that can be used with a range of fuels
  • Example of The U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority

12:30 Networking Luncheon

1:45 Creating a Level Playing Field for Renewables and New Technologies
José Antonio Brenes Tovar, Partner, Anzola Robles & Associates

  • Existing state of renewables in Panama
  • Renewables, non-renewables, and the National Energy Plan 2015-2050
  • Different laws for renewables and conflicting issues
  • New regulations proposed
  • The need for merging incentives into a single law
  • Recommendations for authorities and sector players

2:15 Renewables—Balancing the Country and Regional Electric Portfolios
Jay Gallegos, Executive Director, CMI Energy Wind & Solar (formerly Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy)
Michael Bax, Director New Business, InterEnergy Holdings
Juan F. Páez, Managing Partner, REAL Infrastructure Capital Partners LLC
Aldo C Lopez, Chief Executive Officer and Board Executive Vice President, Panam Generating Ltd. and Empresa Generadora del Istmo S.A. (GENISA)

  • What happened to the renewable fever? Hydro, wind, solar
  • Renewable challenges
    • how overcapacity of gas induces curtailment on renewable generators
    • some renewable projects could go bankrupt
    • variations in environmental and social regulation between countries
  • Issues facing hydro projects
    • low fuel prices and spot prices effect on viability of hydro projects
    • forced spillage of hydro units
    • lack of transmission
    • why is hydro so unpopular from environmental community standpoint?
    • environmental/social efforts
    • lessons from Barro Blanco
  • Wind and solar power Markets and challenges in Central America
    • trends in wind power and solar pricing
    • pressure on returns and impacts for investors
    • key challenges for developers
    • after the wedding operating wind and solar plants
  • Financing renewables
    • challenges in pursuing an investment pipeline in the region
    • using creative thinking to structure investments
    • considering alternative financing structures
    • PPAs vs merchant considerations
    • making projects bankable
  • Establishing a renewable platform with scale Main challenges
  • What does the future hold for renewables?
  • New market opportunity for renewables in Panama
    • InterEnergy ("IEH"), the owner of an existing 215 MW wind farm in Panama, is currently expanding its wind park by 67 MW and adding a further 40 MW of solar generation
    • the energy from these projects is to be sold to large commercial and industrial consumers
    • IEH has signed four long-term, 15-year PPA's with large consumers and will begin selling energy in June 2017
    • the key feature of all PPAs is that IEH is able to guarantee 100% renewable energy for its clients with no recourse to the spot market or thermal sources

4:15 Close of conference



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Past Attendees Say It Best

After nearly 20 years, this continues to be the most valuable and relevant conference for all participants in the Central American Power Sector.

-Alfredo de St. Croix, CEO, Fountain


This is the Premier Conference for Power in Central America.

-Raul Carral, Business Development Manager, Mexico, Central America & Spanish Caribbean, Power Plants, Wartsila North America, Inc.










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