Endesa Chile to invest US$1.2 billion in hydro projects

Endesa Chile, the nation’s largest electricity generator, plans to invest US$1.2 billion through 2011 to build hydroelectric plants to supply the country’s energy needs.

Endesa Chile President Mario Valcarce said December 6 the investment would be part of a broader five-year plan to invest US$2.5 billion in Chile’s electrical sector, including thermal electric and alternative sources of energy.

“Looking toward the next five years, Endesa is going to invest about US$2.5 billion in Chile projects,” Valcarce said after inaugurating a wind generation plant in the northern Chilean town of Canela.

“Of that, US$1.2 billion will go to additional hydro projects that we are building,” he said.

Valcarce said that figure did not include the US$4 billion Hidroaysen complex project that is being planned by Endesa and generator Colbun.

In October, Chile’s antitrust commission approved the plan of Centrales Hidroelectricas de Aysen S.A., the Endesa-Colbun joint venture, to build the five-plant, 2,355-MW Aysen hydroelectric complex in remote southern Chile. (HNN 10/23/07)

In November, the utility began commercial operation of the 32-MW Palmucho hydroelectric project at the foot of the 690-MW Ralco Dam on the Biobio River. Palmucho uses Ralco’s ecological water discharge to generate additional power for Chile’s central grid.

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