Washington, DC - The State Department applauds the regional institutions that govern Central America’s regional electricity market (the Mercado Electrico Regional, or MER) for their accomplishments and new commitments to further develop the MER and expand the Central American Electrical Interconnection System (SIEPAC) announced at the High-Level Meeting at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C. on April 17. The Department of State was represented by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy Sandra Oudkirk and Deputy Assistant Secretary John Creamer of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the meeting, which was a commitment from the June 2017 Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America.

Progress highlighted at the IDB meeting included plans to complete national transmission investments to upgrade regional electricity transmission capacity, finalize negotiations on amending the SIEPAC treaty, foster dialogue with private sector energy companies, and continue working with the Mexican government on a framework to enable power trade between Central America and Mexico.

Strengthening and expanding Central America’s regional electricity market is a key part of the U.S. Strategy for Central America to help the region have secure, reliable, and affordable energy that enhances regional prosperity and competitiveness. The U.S. government is committed to helping Central America achieve its energy goals to promote a strong and prosperous Central America that also strengthens U.S. national security.