Nicaragua: clinic will use solar thermal energy for air conditioning and water heating

11.07.2016
César Barahona and Christian Holter with the signed contract in front of the FairTrade products at the Weltladen store in Graz, where the press conference took place. (Photo: SOLID)
César Barahona and Christian Holter with the signed contract in front of the FairTrade products at the Weltladen store in Graz, where the press conference took place. (Photo: SOLID)

Solid, a Graz-based company specialising in solar thermal systems, has received an order for € 4 million to equip a hospital in Managua, Nicaragua, with a solar thermal plant for warm water heating and air conditioning. It is the first major project of this type being funded using a 'soft loan'*.

Nicaragua's largest and most modern hospital, Hospital Militar Dr. Alejandro Dávila Bolaños, has approximately 400 beds and was opened in the capital Managua in 2015. Working together with the collector manufacturer GREENoneTEC and Caverion, which is also based in Austria, Solid will be planning, delivering and commissioning a solar thermal plant with a surface area of 4,450 m² for the roof of the building. When it is complete, the plant will cover the entire hot water demand and also supply parts of the hospital with air conditioning.

The project at the hospital in Managua was jointly developed with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the National Cleaner Production Centre of Nicaragua (NCPC). Export financing is being provided via a soft loan*, with the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB) acting as the guarantor and the institution granting the soft loan. Raiffeisen Bank International will disburse the soft loan and handle all financing.

The first large-scale solar thermal plant for Nicaragua using 'soft loan' financing was presented by the two managing directors of Solid, Christian Holter and Franz Radovic, together with César Barahona, director of NCPC and technical advisor of UNIDO for Latin America and the Caribbean, in a press conference at the Weltladen in Graz.

"We have already successfully carried out more than 300 projects around the world and have gathered plenty of experience with the technology, project management and project financing. These are the key factors for successful implementation", Solid managing director Christian Holter said. For exporting companies, long project lead times and project financing are usually the biggest challenges.

Large solar thermal systems using soft loan financing could be implemented in other developing countries, which would help to counter climate change by reducing CO2 emissions.  The plant at the clinic in Managua will save approximately 1,100 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Tanja Peschel / Solid GmbH

* Soft loans in Austria: A soft loan is a loan with a low interest rate, long repayment term and a repayment-free period, which is used in the international export industry to contribute to sustainable development in recipient countries.

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