Belize Signs $77 Million Agreement with Saudi Arabia for Solar Power Plant

Belize Signs $77 Million Agreement with Saudi Arabia for Solar Power Plant

Coming off the flight today, Prime Minister John Briceno went straight into a meeting with officials from Saudi Arabia in the VIP Room at the Philip Goldson International Airport.  In that meeting, a 77 million US dollar agreement was signed with the funds earmarked for 60 megawatt solar power plant for Belize.  Today’s signing was a follow up to meeting in May when the Prime Minister met with His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Fund for Development. PM Briceno explained that the project is of major importance given the current energy instability that the country currently faces.   

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “We just signed a loan for $77 million and that will allow us to be able to set up a solar plant for 60 megawatts. As you all know because the economy has been growing so fast the energy consumption also is increasing and we are going to soon max out what we have. That is one part. The second part is that also Mexico is having problems with energy. Presently we produce sustainably, 61% through renewable sources of energy, 61%. We want to go to 100% and solar is one of those ways. This investment will help us to get towards that 100%. Secondly, it will take us towards being fully energy independent. That is why we felt that this loan is very important for us. It is a loan that we pay only 2% per annum and I think it’s going to be paid over 30 years. So it’s a big win for the Belizeans.”

Signing on behalf of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) was the Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency Sultan Al-Marshad.  Complementing the plant is a battery energy storage and the installation of solar panels to assist in reducing the emissions.  The agreement aligns with the SFD’s efforts to support sustainable development in developing countries and Small Island Developing States. The SFD has implemented more than 700 development projects and programs in 90 countries around the world since its inception in 1975.  Present for the signing were Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Chris Coye, and other government representatives. 

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