Chile expects to close 11 coal-fired plants by 2024

The Chilean unit of U.S.-based AES closed a coal-fired power plant along Chile’s central Pacific coast last Tuesday ahead of schedule amid a drive by the South American nation to end carbon emissions from its grid. Chile in 2019 signed an agreement with major generators AES Gener, Colbun, Enel and Engie to gradually eliminate the country’s coal-fired power plants, which currently produce around 40% of the country’s electricity. Chile expects to have shut down 11 coal-fired plants by 2024.

Grupo Ibereolica will invest $684m to build 794-MW wind farm project in Chile

Grupo Ibereolica Renovables has initiated the environmental permitting process by filing a full study of the impact of its proposed 793.6-MW wind farm project in Chile. The developer is prepared to invest around $684 million to build 128 wind turbines of 6.2 MW each in the Chilean region of Antofagasta. Construction is projected to start in mid-2022.

Chilean salmon prices continue to increase

Spot prices for salmon farmed in Chile have continued on their steep upward trajectory in week 51 of 2020. US-bound trim D, freight-on-board Chilean salmon fillets to the US saw prices lift by $0.34 to $4.36 per pound. Prices for Chilean head-on, freight-on-board, 10-12s shipped to the Brazilian market lifted once again, by $0.40 to $5.07 per kilogram in week 51. Prices for week 52 are projected to rise again to $5.00-$5.20/kg for fresh head-on deliveries.

Salmones Aysen ditches air-freight salmon as part of US frozen strategy

Salmones Aysen, a dedicated coho salmon farmer in Chile, decided to scrap the sale of air-freighted salmon to the US. The decision to end air-freighted sales is a way to wean US customers off fresh supplies as part of Salmones Aysen's campaign called "Leading the frozen revolution". The company is betting that US consumers will eventually turn to frozen salmon because of its lower environmental impact. Chile's coho salmon could compete with wild-caught Alaskan salmon among consumers.

Chile’s SQM begins process to raise $1.1bn in capital

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.

Chilean State Railways awards $70m contract for six EMUs

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.

Chilean president announces that COVID-19 vaccination will begin on Thursday

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.