Guatemala Joins 13 Other Countries Participating in USIJI

Washington, D.C.  November 17, 1998 - The Matanzas Project, a 14 MW, (medium head) hydroelectric project with two power plants was chosen this month for inclusion in the U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation (USIJI) program.  This project is located in Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, with power plants located on both the Chilasco and San Isidro Rivers.

This project will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the use of hydroelectric power to displace electricity that would otherwise have been generated by fossil-fuel fired thermal plants or diesel power.

The Matanzas project is estimated to reduce emissions by more than 1,100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over a 15-year project life equivalent to the annual emissions of nearly a quarter million U.S. passenger cars.  The output of the two plants will be sold to Guatemala's national electric utility, the Instituto Nacional de Electricidad (INDE).  The project is expected to begin operations in January 2000.  Developers have designed a detailed environmental management plan to mitigate the impacts of the project on the fauna and flora of the surrounding area.

The U.S.  Initiative on joint Implementation, part of the Clinton administration's climate Change Action Plan, encourages U.S. businesses and non-governmental organizations to use their resources and innovative technologies and practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development worldwide.  Voluntary international partnerships offer the potential to achieve greater and more cost-efficient emission reductions worldwide than would be possible in each country alone.

The USIJI now includes 32 projects in 14 countries, representing a diversity of technologies that range from forestry conservation practices to power plant conversions to energy efficient homes.  The projects are reviewed and selected by the USIJI Evaluation Panel comprised of senior representatives from eight federal agencies.

Project Partners: The Center for Sustainable Development in the Americas, Washington, DC; and Tecnoguat, S.A., Guatemala.

For more information, media may contact Jayne Brady at the Department of Energy, 202-586-5806.  Businesses and other organizations may contact USIJI at 202-586-3288.