Latin America and the Caribbean

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USTDA is one of the leading project preparation facilities operating in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), supporting more than 700 project activities across 24 of the region’s economies. USTDA focuses its efforts on the economic sectors of strategic importance to U.S. industry and their regional partners, including energy, transportation, telecommunications and water.
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LAC Events
September
24
Webinar: Global Infrastructure Resilience Initiative
September 24, 2020
Virtual | MS Teams
Webinar: Global Infrastructure Resilience Initiative
January
01
Reverse Trade Mission: Brazil Renewable Energy Generation and Energy Efficiency
January 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021
Locations: TBD | Dates: TBD
Reverse Trade Mission: Brazil Renewable Energy Generation and Energy Efficiency
January
01
Reverse Trade Mission: Brazil Transmission and Substation Technologies
January 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021
Washington, D.C. | Atlanta, GA | Dates: TBD
Reverse Trade Mission: Brazil Transmission and Substation Technologies
January
01
Reverse Trade Mission: Brazil Power Plant Modernization
January 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021
Locations: TBD | Dates: TBD
Reverse Trade Mission: Brazil Power Plant Modernization
January
01
Business Briefing: Brazil Transmission and Substation Technologies
January 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021
Atlanta, GA | Date: TBD
Business Briefing: Brazil Transmission and Substation Technologies
MORE EVENTS
Current RFPs
November
10
Argentina: Feasibility Study: Salta ICT Modernization
September 11, 2020 - November 10, 2020
Argentina: Feasibility Study: Salta ICT Modernization

Press Releases

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USTDA Supports Ecuador’s Power Grid Control Center
Press Release

Quito, Ecuador – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a technical assistance grant to Ecuador’s National Electricity Operator (CENACE) that will enhance the…

USTDA Launches Global Infrastructure Resilience Initiative
Press Release

Arlington, Virginia – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency launched the Global Infrastructure Resilience Initiative to help emerging markets plan, finance, procure and sustain…

USTDA Supports Banking Automation in Northern Brazil
Press Release

Belém, Pará – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a technical assistance grant to the State Bank of Pará (Banpará) to advance the modernization…

USTDA Announces New Leadership
Press Release

Arlington, VA– The U.S. Trade and Development Agency today announced that Todd Abrajano has been named Chief Operating Officer, Head of Agency. In this capacity,…

USTDA Supports Digital Connectivity Infrastructure in Central America
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency announced the launch of its online Central America Digital Connectivity Workshop Training Series to strengthen…

Trade Leads

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Panama Canal Water Management System
Trade Lead

Background: The Panama Canal Authority is seeking potential offerors for the engineering, design and construction of a new water management system to guarantee an adequate…

Costa Rica Ministry of Education Broadband Expansion
Trade Lead

Background: Fundacion Omar Dengo invites eligible bidders to submit proposals to provide Internet connectivity and perimeter security and intelligence to the 2,139 Ministry of Education…

Success Stories
photo of a smart meter
American Technology, USTDA Feasibility Study Improve Power Delivery in Colombia

The Valle de Cauca province, located along Colombia’s Pacific coast, is home to a population of nearly 4.6 million, with the country’s third-largest economy. In 2012, EMCALI, the region’s primary utility and an early adopter of smart grid technologies, collaborated with USTDA for advanced solutions to manage peak electricity and more efficiently utilize its generation, transmission and distribution resources for its 550,000 residential, 30,000 commercial and 30,000 industrial customers.

After partnering with Missouri-based Aclara to implement an advanced metering infrastructure system, EMCALI installed more than 14,000 smart meters and 800 pre­paid meters by the end of 2012. EMCALI subsequently looked to USTDA for options to develop an automated demand side management (ADSM) system allowing consumers to decrease electricity consumption during peak periods, reduce the need for expensive peak power generation and maintain grid reliability.

USTDA’s responded in 2015 by funding an ADSM feasibility study and first-of-its-kind pilot project that is now serving local businesses, a university and EMCALI’s own facilities. The project further enabled EMCALI to use ADSM to manage peak demand and reduce customer energy expenses by six percent. EMCALI also expanded its investment in smart meter coverage for its customers.

USTDA’s Chief Operating Officer, Head of Agency Todd Abrajano concluded that “Our work in Valle de Cauca demonstrates the cutting-edge innovation and lasting benefits of American ADSM technology. Even better, this project can easily be replicated across Colombia and has the ability to fill a critical need in improving power delivery throughout the region.”

American Technology, USTDA Feasibility Study Improve Power Delivery in Colombia
Map of Brazil, highlighting the State of Ceara
USTDA ICT Investment Strengthens Brazil’s Economic Resilience Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Over the last several years, the State of Ceará in northeast Brazil has placed a high priority on information and communication technology (ICT) to fuel economic growth and provide new opportunities to its citizens. USTDA-funded assistance helped the state develop a broadband network that is one of Brazil’s largest and fastest, providing a variety of public services including telemedicine, distance education, digital television and videoconferencing to nearly 90 percent of Ceará’s urban population. Built with American technology, this network has enhanced Ceará’s economic resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With new investment from a local consortium, in partnership with the State of Ceará, the upgraded network was able handle the sudden spike in demand that happened when the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out. Within the first 15 days of the pandemic, the State of Ceará experienced an approximate 50 percent increase in internet traffic and is still capable of handling more. Simply put, USTDA’s assistance to the State of Ceará helped create the conditions for such a resilient network.

The USTDA-funded technical assistance, completed in 2015, provided the Information Technology Company of the State of Ceará (ETICE) with recommendations for a new business and governance model to catalyze private sector investment in the state’s broadband network, strengthen the delivery of public services, promote the growth of private industry and improve digital access for its citizens.

ETICE adopted most of the technical assistance recommendations, including a public-private partnership model that led to its selection of a Brazilian consortium to help manage the network. This consortium brought new investment to the state’s broadband network and is now providing high-speed internet service to approximately four million people, or 90 percent of the state.  According to the consortium, the entire State of Ceará will have access to broadband internet in 2022.

USTDA’s Acting Director Thomas Hardy concluded, “An investment in American technology is an investment in quality infrastructure. USTDA will redouble its efforts to help our overseas partners invest in the kinds of solutions that will keep their economies resilient and on a positive growth trajectory.”

USTDA ICT Investment Strengthens Brazil’s Economic Resilience Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Map of Brazil with the state of Minas Gerais highlighted in green
USTDA Helps Small Business Succeed in Brazil’s Power Sector

The state of Minas Gerais is home to some of Brazil’s most ideal locations for solar power generation. With USTDA’s assistance, the state turned to Vrinda, a New York-based small business, to ensure that reliable power is continually delivered to more than 18 million people in this economically dynamic region.

As the number of utility-scale and rooftop installations accelerated in Minas Gerais, the state’s reliable electricity distribution network started experiencing an array of technical challenges. Cemig D, the state’s distribution company, sought USTDA’s assistance and evaluation of technologies to integrate these new installations into its network and address systemic issues of power intermittency and reliability. Cemig D selected Vrinda, an international strategy implementation firm, to execute the USTDA-funded assistance.

Vrinda Co-Founder and COO Navneet Trivedi emphasizes that without USTDA’s support, it was not possible for a small business like his to explore and expand in Latin America. “USTDA gave us our first overseas opportunity, which is very important for any business, but foundational for Vrinda. This opportunity and constant support by USTDA through introductions to utilities and Brazilian businesses opened multiple doors. Today we have two direct contracts with the largest Brazilian utilities helping them from strategy to implementation and have established ourselves as a trusted partner to many Brazilian utilities and professionals.”

Vrinda assessed Cemig’s D network infrastructure and requirements based on the projected growth in its total installed capacity of solar power, which jumped from approximately 20 megawatts (MW) in early 2017 to approximately 500MW in early 2020. By 2027, Vrinda estimated that this number is likely to climb to 1,000MW in a base case scenario and up to 2,000MW in a high case scenario.

To address the challenges associated with this growth, Vrinda recommended a series of new investments including a Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) and an Advanced Distribution Analytics (ADA) software system. Implementing this new technology will ensure continued compliance with national regulatory requirements for interconnections and reliability indices.

Following the completion of USTDA’s assistance, Cemig D contracted with Vrinda to design and implement the DERMS system. In January 2020, Vrinda introduced Cemig D to several U.S. utilities in California, Colorado and New York to observe ADA and DERMS systems and develop new relationships with American suppliers of these innovative technologies. After this visit, Cemig D began developing technical specifications for the ADA software in collaboration with expert U.S. providers.

USTDA Acting Director Thomas Hardy sums up the project this way: “This innovative collaboration between USTDA and Brazil achieved each of our objectives: We created a new overseas opportunity for a U.S. small business and ultimately enhanced the country’s management of new energy sources. In every way, we believe this is a successful partnership that is built to last.”

USTDA Helps Small Business Succeed in Brazil’s Power Sector