Independent power producer Sonnedix Power Holdings Ltd has obtained an environmental permit for the 150-MWp Sonnedix Tres Cruces solar project in the Atacama region in Chile. The $140 million Sonnedix Tres Cruces will be realised within the communes of Diego de Almagro and Chanaral. Construction work is seen to start by 2023 and be completed in 2024. During the process, the company will support 295 new jobs.
Foreign direct investment in the first half of 2021 grew by 28%. According to InvestChile, its project portfolio registered a 28% increase in the amount of foreign initiatives in the country, after reaching a total of $23.976 billion, versus $18.764 billion in the same period of 2020. China was the main investor in that period, as it raised by 26% the amount of initiatives and by 11% the number, totalling 30 projects valued at $5.646 billion.
Chile recorded a trade surplus of $604 million in July, Chile's Central Bank reported. The country exported a total of $7.943 billion, an increase of 27.3% over shipments in the same month last year. Imports reached $7.339 billion, a year-on-year increase of 55.3%, its highest on record.
Chilean electric utility Enel Generacion Chile SA (FRA:EPN) announced this week it has secured a contract with a corporate client to supply 100% renewable energy in Chile over four years. Under the terms of the contract, which is effective as of May 2021, the Chilean subsidiary of Enel will supply energy generated from wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower sources to the client's facilities in central Chile and the Maule region in particular.
South American power company AES Andes SA reported a $266.3 million loss of attributable earnings for the first-half of 2021, after having to recognise significant impairment of assets for committing to close thermoelectric power plants in Chile. In the same period a year ago, the company posted a $137.7million attributable profit.
Chilean cement consumption advanced 66.7% YoY in June 2021 to 355,851t when compared with the 233,186t reported in June 2020 and by 21.9% when compared with June 2019, according to the Chilean Construction Chamber, CChC. In the January-June 2021 period, dispatches were up 20.5% YoY to 2,145,846t from 1,781,388t in the first half of 2020.
Chilean health authorities announced that they will extend a COVID-19 emergency through September to allow the government to impose restrictions, a setback in a country that has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. The announcement comes as cases have soared in Chile to some of their highest levels since the pandemic began, despite 61% of citizens receiving at least one vaccine dose and 48% being fully vaccinated.
Mining companies with the highest ESG ratings outperformed the overall market during the peak of the pandemic, achieving 34% average total return to shareholders over the past three years. This is according to PwC's 18th annual report on the top 40 mining companies.
The Centre for Surveys and Longitudinal Studies of the Catholic University presented a new survey of the employment situation at national level during the last week of May. Employment rate was 49.2%, showing no variation compared to April. Compared to the most critical point of the pandemic, 1.1 million jobs have been recovered as of May 2021 which equates to 47% recovery.
Highview Enlasa's first liquid air energy storage facility in Latin America will be a 50 MW CRYOBattery system in the Atacama region in Chile. This is the first joint venture between Highview Power and Energía Latina SA. The system will be located in Diego de Almagro. The project, with an investment of approximately $150 million, is currently in the pre-feasibility engineering phase and is scheduled to enter environmental processing in August of this year. Construction is estimated to start in the second half of 2023.