Chilean utility Compania General de Electricidad S.A. (CGE) plans to begin construction in the second half of 2009 of the 136-MW Nuble hydroelectric project in the Biobio Region of southern Chile.
CGE General Manager Pablo Guarda told a shareholders meeting April 21 that construction of the run-of-river project, on the Nuble River at San Fabian de Alico, would require a total investment of about US$240 million.
CGE’s development unit, CGE Generacion, signed an agreement in 2006 with MGM International of the United States for sale of carbon credits to help finance Nuble. (HNN 9/5/07)
Guarda said construction of Nuble, which includes a transmission link to the central electricity grid, will create more than 500 jobs in the region.
The official said CGE will continue pre-feasibility studies to determine the desirability of developing other hydroelectric projects associated with water rights the company owns on various Chilean rivers. CGE has water rights to develop a total of 400 MW of hydropower in Chile, which it is investigating through CGE Generacion.
“Our continued investment plan is the realization that even in difficult times and crises in funding, commitment to the regions is real and results in real investment,” Guarda said.
He said the energy group will invest about US$240 million during 2009 in Chile’s electricity and gas sectors. To finance the investment, CGE will increase its capital 132 billion pesos (US$226 million) by issuing 44 million shares.
Most of the investments are allocated to the electricity sector. Guarda said that amount could be increased if necessary conditions occur that enable CGE to start new projects that are in process.