Chile's SQM said its board of directors agreed to begin the process of raising $1.1 billion in capital through the sale of common stock to help underwrite an ambitious expansion of its lithium, nitrate and iodine operations. The lithium producer will call a shareholders meeting on Jan. 22 to green-light a proposal to issue 22.4 million of the company's series B shares. If approved, the capital will help finance its previously announced $1.9 billion, four-year investment plan.
Chile's National Energy Commission (CNE) published the terms and conditions of the country’s 2021 power auction through which it will seek to place 2,310 GWh per year for a period of 15 years. The goal of the auction is to secure a supply of electricity for residential and SME customers from January 2026 through December 2040.
Chilean State Railways (EFE) has selected a consortium of CRRC Sifang and Temoinsa Chile as the winner of a $70 million contract to supply six four-car bi-mode electro-diesel multiple units. The 160km/h trains will operate on the partially-electrified 400km, 12-station route between Santiago and Chillan. The trains will reduce journey times between San Diego and Chillan from five hours to 3h 40min. The trains will operate continuously for 1000km under diesel traction.
President Sebastián Piñera said that the COVID-19 vaccination campaign will begin on Thursday, after the arrival of the first 10,000 doses. President Piñera announced that a plane carrying the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines has already left Belgium and is scheduled to arrive in Chile in the early hours on Thursday. The vaccination process will begin immediately. Chile will have more than 30 million doses as a result of contracts signed wth separate companies.
Official data from China Customs depicts that the country imported 18,900 tons of avocado during the first nine months of 2020. 4,136 tons of this volume were imported from Chile. According to the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA), Chilean avocado exports between January-September of this year showed a 46.1% year-on-year decrease in volume and a 43.3% decrease in value. The USDA projects that Chile's total avocado production in 2021 will reach 220,000 tons.