Italian investment fund to develop 15 Chilean small hydro projects

Chilean officials and an Italian investment fund have announced plans to invest US$80 million in private development of 15 small hydroelectric projects in Region X of southern Chile.

The announcement came at the close of the International Renewable Energy Investment Meeting in Santiago, convened by Chile’s economic development agency, Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion (CORFO). The agency brought together more than 60 Chilean developers and more than 140 national and foreign investors to offer a portfolio of renewable energy projects dominated by run-of-river hydro sites. (HNN 10/6/06)

Italian hydropower equipment supplier Scotta and Italian developer Idroenergia formed the Italian investment fund with Chilean partner Idroaustral. With engineering and feasibility studies completed, the group plans to build three of the 15 projects by the end of 2007. All 15, totaling 65 MW, are expected to be in operation in 2008.

The fund’s managing director, Leopold Lodi, said the development agreement completed at the October 5-6 meeting was the culmination of interest that began at a 2005 Forum of Italo-Chilean Companies. Lodi said the fund had ten pending meetings that could result in initiatives in other parts of Chile.

CORFO officials called the Italian investment the first results of the international meeting. CORFO officials previously announced the government will allot US$100 million for non-conventional renewable energy projects and will fund studies of 18 hydroelectric projects.

For information, contact Javier Garcia, Energy and CDM Investment Program Coordinator, Investment and Development Division, Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion (CORFO), E-mail: jgarcia@corfo.cl; Internet: www.corfo.cl.

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