Basque companies have Latin American energy and environment business opportunities worth more than 23 billion euros

23 September, 2016


The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have a portfolio of 166 projects in these two fields.


The Latin American countries benefitting most from these energy and environment projects are Brazil, with 23 projects, followed by Colombia with 13, and Mexico and Chile with 12 each.


Basque companies have business opportunities in energy and environment sector projects in Latin America worth 25.6 billion dollars (more than 23 billion euros) promoted by the so-called multilateral banks, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which finance development projects on that continent.


Both financial institutions have 166 energy and environment projects approved since 2013 in their portfolio and currently awaiting investment of the 23 billion euros stated above. In the last three months, 37 consultancies, 16 tenders for goods and 10 for civil works financed by these projects have been issued internationally. In view of their extensive experience in these sectors, these projects represent a business opportunity for Basque companies.


The Latin American countries benefitting most from these energy and environment projects are Brazil, with 23 projects, followed by Colombia with 13, and Mexico and Chile with 12 each. In terms of project values, Brazil leads with a portfolio of nearly 6.5 billion euros, followed by Chile totalling nearly 3.3 billion, Panama with 1.4 billion and Argentina with 1.2 billion euros.


The two financial institutions give priority to the energy sector, especially to investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Projects for these sectors currently exceed 50 billion euros per year and it is estimated that the figure will reach 100 billion euros annually by 2020.


Energy projects in the region focus on the diversification of the energy matrix, access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, and speeding up the application of energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy sources. With regard to environmental projects, the priorities are to support cities to lower their carbon emissions and increase their ability to adapt to climate change, promote smart agriculture and the protection of forests, and create carbon pricing systems in order to reduce emissions.


The projects already approved include support for the Flood Risk Management Support Project for the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, with a total cost of about 300 million euros, of which the World Bank will provide a loan of 180 million; the Municipal Energy Efficiency Project for Mexico, with a budget of 140 million euros and a World Bank loan of 90 million, and the Integrated Water Resources Management and Infrastructure Development Project for Chile, with more than 40 million euros investment and about 37 million of IDB funding. Moreover, the Support for the Transition of the Energy Matrix in Ecuador project, with a budget of 180 million euros and an IDB loan for the entire investment, is in preparation.


The IDB Emerging and Sustainable Cities initiative will support almost 100 cities in the region on issues of renewable energy, energy efficiency and care of the environment. In the same way, the IDB is organising the Sustainable Energy for All Week in Latin America and the Caribbean, to be held in Panama City from 6 to 9 September 2016, to address the most relevant aspects of the energy situation in the region.


For any further information about business opportunities covered by projects funded by the Multilateral Development Banks, companies can contact Leire Intxausti at SPRI, the Basque business development agency (, or Emilio Bunge of Development Finance International (DFI), Inc. (

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