Chile delays reopening until September as COVID-19 cases rise

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.

Employment rate remains broadly unchanged at 49.2%

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.

Chile receives its first cryogenic energy storage facility

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.

Chile’s centre-left will govern in Santiago de Chile and most regions

Chile's centre-left became the great winner of second round regional elections held Sunday after winning most of the governorships, including that of the capital, with 99.9% of votes counted. The Constituent Unit pact between left and centre parties won in Santiago de Chile, where Christian Democrats candidate Claudio Orrego got 52.7% of votes. This is the first time in history Chile elects its intermediate authorities instead of appointing them via the government.

Companies in trade, forestry and livestock report difficulties in filling vacanies

According to the National Labour Demand Survey (Enadel), more than 20% of companies in the trade, forestry and agriculture sectors expect to increase their workforce this year. 38% of trade companies and 44% of companies related to forestry and livestock reported difficulties in filling vacancies. This is due to a lack of interest in the industry or inexperienced candidates applying.

Volkswagen, Daimler, BASF & Fairphone launch sustainable lithium initiative

Volkswagen, Daimler, BASF and Fairphone have initiated a partnership for sustainable lithium mining in Chile. The "Responsible Lithium Partnership" aims to promote the responsible use of natural resources, including lithium, in Chile's Salar de Atacama. The four initiators have commissioned the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to coordinate the partnership and set up a so-called multi-stakeholder platform comprising all relevant actors in the Salar watershed – from civil society groups, including indigenous communities, to government institutions and mining companies. According to Volkswagen, the “Responsible Lithium Partnership” started in spring 2021 and has a planned duration of two and a half years.