Chile plans to close half of coal-fired plants by 2025

Chile plans to close half of its coal-fired power plants by 2025, 15 years ahead of a deadline to eliminate the fossil fuel from its power mix, Energy Minister Juan Carlo Jobet stated. Under an initial agreement signed by the government and power companies in June 2019, 8 plants with 1,000 MW of installed capacity were due to close by 2024. 6 were taken offline by the end of last year. Since then, AES Gener, Enel and Engie have all brought forward commitments to close plants by that date, lifting the installed capacity to close by 2025 to almost 2,900 MW.

First full-scale wave energy converter installed in Chile

Enel Green Power Chile has installed the PB3 PowerBuoy, the first full-scale wave energy converter off the coast of Las Cruces, Chile. The marine energy generator is the first of its kind installed in Latin America and the fifth in the world. The system is able to convert wave energy into electrical energy that is stored in a 50kWh battery system located inside the PB3 PowerBuoy, which feeds the different oceanographic sensors that monitor the marine environment.

Mytilineos wins $76.8 mn solar contract in Chile

Mytilineos has secured a $76.8 million contract for the development of 125 MWp of solar projects in Chile. The contract was awarded by Latin American developer EnfraGen LLC. Construction of the projects, located in central Chile, will take place in two phases between the end of April and the end of June. All solar farms are expected to be hooked to the grid by January 2022.

Asia becomes Chile’s top market

Asia has overtaken the US as Chile’s largest fruit export market through the first six months of the 2020/21 export season, according to new data from Asoex. Exports to Asia during this period grew by 15.28% year-on-year to 613,691 tonnes, an increase driven by the growth of cherry exports. Meanwhile, exports to the US dropped by just over 10% year-on-year to 476,843 tonnes.

Chilean Government launches 30 mn tender for green hydrogen projects

The Chilean government has issued a call for tenders for the development of green hydrogen production projects of 10 MW and above. The government is offering to award up to $30 million to one or more projects, which should become operational no later than December 2025. The tender process is open to national and foreign companies. Prospective bidders have until July to make inquiries about the tender, while applications should be submitted by September.

Chile’s borders to remain closed throughout May

Chilean authorities decided not to reopen the borders throughout May to try to prevent the entry into the country of new strains of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, Health Undersecretary Paula Daza announced. In Santiago, which is under full quarantine, starting Thursday ten communes will go to phase two within the government's step by step plan. On the other hand, various regions in the country which had been spared from a full lockdown will go back to phase 1 since the containment of COVID-19 cases has not turned out as expected.

Chile port & copper workers protest over pensions policy

Workers at major ports and copper mines in Chile are joining a nationwide protest over pensions policy this week that is set to end with a day-long stoppage on April 30. Around 8,000 workers at 25 port terminals are expected to join the protest, according to the Chilean Portworkers Union. Union leaders demand that the President sign into legislation a policy approved by lawmakers, allowing employees to withdraw up to 10% of their pensions savings to help compensate for the impact of the pandemic.

Government submits third pension withdrawal bill to the Chamber of Deputies

The Government has submitted to the Chamber of Deputies its bill that seeks to allow a third withdrawal of pension funds, as an alternative to the initiative promoted by the opposition, which has already been passed into law. According to the Government, its proposal "addresses the urgent needs of families, granting benefits to 3 million contributors who currently have a zero balance in their individual capitalisation accounts and establishing a mechanism to recover the pension savings withdrawn, thus strengthening future pensions".