France’s GDF SUEZ has started full commercial operation of the last unit of the Dos Mares hydro plant, a 118 MW run-of-the river plant consisting of three power plants -Gualaca, Lorena and Prudencia-. Two power plants came on line in 2011 and the third one was commissioned recently. Dos Mares is situated in the Chiriqui Province in Panama and represents an investment of approximately $460M. Following an auction in 2008, GDF SUEZ sold 100 MW to distribution companies for a period of ten years, from 2013 to 2022. The Dos Mares hydroelectric complex is expected to provide 6,000 GWh for the length of this period. The project will avoid the equivalent of 350,000 tons per year of carbon emissions.
With a population of 3.4 million, Panama has an installed capacity of approximately 2.3 GW. The country's electricity demand has been growing at an average annual rate of 6.3% for the last five years. GDF SUEZ Energy Central America is the second largest power producer in the country supplying 25% of the national demand. GDF SUEZ entered the Panamanian market in 2007 through the acquisition of a 51% stake in Bahia Las Minas, Panama's largest thermal generating complex (249 MW). The Group also owns and operates the 83 MW Cativá thermal plants.