Engineering of Chile’s 2,500-MW Aysen to be complete mid-year

Developer Centrales Hidroelectricas de Aysen S.A. (HidroAysen) plans to complete engineering in the first half of 2007 on the four-plant, 2,500-MW Aysen hydroelectric complex in Chile’s Region X.

HidroAysen chief technician Bernardo Canales made that estimate during an appearance at a Universidad Catolica conference on Chile’s future energy supply. The Santiago event was reported by Business News Americas.

Canales said once engineering work is complete, firms will be able to carry out environmental impact studies. HidroAysen, a joint venture of utilities Endesa Chile and Colbun S.A., awarded an environmental impact statement contract in December to a consortium of SWECO, of Sweden and Norway, and POCH Ambiental y EPS, of Chile. (HNN 12/14/06)

HidroAysen plans 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 the Aysen project. Although a fifth, 70-MW, hydro plant has been previously mentioned, it was not included in Canales’ presentation.

The developer plans to issue a construction tender in June 2008 for the first plant, Baker 1, which would proceed to construction in December 2008.

Canales said the Aysen complex would enhance stability of Chile’s central transmission grid due to the low variability of flows in the Baker and Pascua rivers. Additionally, the complex is to diversify energy supply, increase generating capacity on the grid, create 4,000 construction jobs, and boost the local economy.

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