Chilean utilities Endesa Chile and Colbun S.A. agreed August 31 to create Centrales Hidroelectricas de Aysen S.A. (CHA), which will be charged with developing five hydroelectric projects totaling 2,355 MW in southern Chile’s Aysen Region.
The board of Endesa — Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A. — ratified formation of the development company, with 51 percent ownership by Endesa, and 49 percent by Colbun. The two utilities are to sign the joint venture agreement in September.
CHA is to be responsible for study, development, financing, construction, and operation of the Aysen project, consisting of the five hydropower plants, which are to use a common transmission line to interconnect with Chile’s grid, Sistema Interconectado Central.
The developer is to continue with preparatory work, including studies of feasibility, hydrology, pre-project engineering, and environmental assessment. CHA also is to obtain all permits, authorizations, and concessions.
Endesa awarded contracts earlier this year to six academic institutions to conduct technical and scientific investigations to help define the environmental and social baseline of the project zone. (HNN 6/8/06)
Tendering seen in coming year
The utility said CHA is to solicit work on the projects during 2006 and 2007, subject to regulatory approvals.
Endesa has water rights in Region XI to develop the 680-MW Baker 1 and 360-MW Baker 2 plants on the Baker River and the 450-MW Pascua 1 and 940-MW Pascua 2 plants on the Pascua River, called, collectively with a fifth plant, the Aysen project.
In July, an Endesa official said the utility planned to complete studies and engineering of the US$2.5 billion complex in June 2008, after which it would issue a construction tender for the first plant, Baker 1. (HNN 7/24/06)