650 MW Hydroelectric Project: Yes or No?

The new Minister of Environment and Energy in Costa Rica is opposed to the Diquís project, which the state electricity company has been promoting for ten years, and which consists of building a hydroelectric generation plant in Puntarenas.

Monday, May 28, 2018

While the new leaders of the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) announced their intention to refloat the project, which due to unconstitutionality appeals filed against it has remained on paper for years, the Ministry of Environment and Energy has declared its opposition, stating that "... there are no studies or other assessments on the social and economic impact that justify the declaration of national convenience given to the project a decade ago."

Regarding the ICE 's intention to develop the work, Nacion.com reports that according to the state-owned power company, the hydraulic plant could "... provide energy support services to the region and less for the country's energy needs, even though its financing would come from local electricity rates."

"... The objective of the El Diquís project is to build a 650 megawatt (MW) plant, twice the size of the Reventazón hydroelectric plant in Siquirres, Limón. Its cost as of December 2015 was estimated at $3.694 billion."

The main obstacle to the development of this project is that the area where it is planned corresponds to indigenous territories, therefore consultations need to be made beforehand.

For ten years, the ICE has been talking about the controversial Diquís hydroelectric project. See here details of everything that has been said about this project since 2008.

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More on this topic

650 MW Hydro Project Cancelled

November 2018

After spending $146 million over six years, Costa Rica's state-owned electricity company finally decided to cancel construction of the Diquis hydroelectric power plant in Puntarenas.

Authorities of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), informed that decided to cancel the hydroelectric project due to the fall in national energy consumption and because the country has sufficient installed electricity capacity to meet demand in coming years.

Revival of El Diquís Hydroelectric Project in Costa Rica

March 2016

A story that has now been going on for twenty years could be resumed with the adoption of a legal framework to be used to consult with the natives living in the area where the 650 MW plant would be built.


Finally, there is a legal framework to start once and for all the "intercultural dialogue" that is needed to give the green light to the construction of one of the most important hydroelectric projects for the future energy supply of the country.

Electricity, Indigenous People, Development

April 2014

In Costa Rica the high electricity rates are driving out foreign investment while indigenous opposition impedes progress of the construction of a 650 MW hydroelectric power plant.

It is time that the region starts to balance conservation policies with the needs of development so as to allow an escape from poverty for those who are currently held down by it and who at the same time are holding the rest of society hostage.

Hydroelectric Megaplant at Risk in Costa Rica

April 2011

Complaints by indigenous natives from the El Diquís area are jeopardizing the project.

The native peoples in the area where the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) intends to develop a mega hydroelectric power generation say their land has been usurped without right.