New Zealand energy investment firm World Energy Research (WER) has appointed German company Wasserkraft Volk (WKV) to build three of 13 small and medium hydroelectric plants in Guatemala.

WER has also signed an agreement with Energia Total to buy all of the power generated by the three plants.

WER said it will fund and manage the projects.

Traditionally, Guatemala has fuelled its power stations with expensive foreign oil, but the small and medium hydro power ventures will help Guatemala produce more of its own energy.

After the completion of this phase, WER will plan more hydroelectric sites in the nation along with exploring the potential for solar, wind, biomass and geothermal energy production.