Panama City, Panama --- (METERING.COM) --- October 15, 2008 - With the award of financing of US$12.5 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Panama has embarked on a program to assure the reliability and quality of service at transmission level, and thereby contributing to the sustainable and efficient development of the electrical sector.

Panama has one of the fastest growing economies in the region, with an expected increase in power demand of 5.7 to 6 percent per year from 2007 to 2010, implying a need to double the generation and transmission capacity in less than 15 years.

In order to ensure a quality and competitive transmission service, a complete overhaul is needed of the management of Panama’s transmission sector, including the management of the state-owned Empresa de Transmision Electrica (ETESA).

Actions envisaged are aimed at improvements at various levels in ETESA, including management and control, corporate governance, environmental and social management of projects, and technical processes, as well as in the norms and standards pertaining to the interconnection of small renewable sources of energy.

In addition investments will be made in the expansion and renewal of the network.

The IDB financing for the first phase of the program will be matched with a similar amount from local sources, and a further award of $20 million is envisaged from the IDB for the $40 million second phase.