The congress-approved project which seeks to benefit customers of basic services, avoiding cuts for non-payment in water, electricity, gas by network and telecommunications accounts, has been delayed due to controversy. As a result, the only options are to enact it or veto it. PULSO projects that the government will veto the basic services project and return it to Congress with various qualms.
Sabrina Souviron Gumucio
Global miner BHP Group Ltd announced stricter health protocols after cases of the pandemic at its Escondida copper mine in Chile, reached 150. A spike in cases in the city of Calama had led BHP to route all workers flying into the mines via nearby Antofagasta airport instead, and workers are being encouraged to observe stricter social-distancing measures during trips.
Chilean media reported that the government plans to send Congress a proposal to allow automatic renewals of the operating permits of 14 casinos that were scheduled to expire this year. Undersecretary of Finance Francisco Moreno wants the casinos to agree to an increase in their gross income tax rate from 20% to 25% during the 12-month extension. In exchange, the casinos would be allowed to develop ‘remote gaming’ platforms “within their respective perimeter.”
The kiwi season is in full swing in Chile, adding 95,045 tons exported as of week 23-24, a figure that reflects a 12% year-on-year drop in shipped volumes. Europe continues to be the main destination for this Chilean fruit, with the reception of 27,744 tons and an increase of 26% compared to 2018. Second place is the Far East with 26,096 tons (-43%), followed by Latin America with 15,748 tons (-18%), and North America with 13,413 tons (-12%), compared to the same period in 2018.
German renewable energy start-up Energy Kitchen GmbH is developing a 95.2-MW wind farm project featuring 20 MW of battery storage in Chile. The project, named Cabrero, will represent an investment of USD $156 million, according to the environmental impact statement (EIS) submitted to the authorities. The site will be located in the commune of Cabrero, Biobio region, where Energy Kitchen plans to build 17 wind turbines and set up battery containers.
Chile’s Budget Office said on Monday the country’s economy could shrink 6.5% in 2020, a far deeper hole than predicted just two months prior as the pandemic continues to pummel the world’s top copper producer. The budget office said in its second-quarter public finance report that it saw inflation at 2.8%, down from its April prediction of 3.3%. Domestic demand, meanwhile, is expected to decrease by 9.8%, versus an estimated drop of 3.3% previously. The report put the 2020 copper price at $2.48 per pound, up from a previous estimate of $2.36 per pound in April.
After an agreement unanimously approved by the six unions that group all of the Rol B workers and the administration, the El Teniente Division of Codelco agreed on a 14×14 schedule, which consists of 14 days of work for 14 days of rest. According to Codelco, this schedule “reduces the risk of contagion, by reducing the amount exposed at work and exposure in common areas. It also enables workers to take their rest in quarantine format domiciliary and reduces the frequency of bus trips and transfers made in the region by more than 30%”.
According to a report prepared by the National Chamber of Commerce (CNC) during the first quarter of this year, 14% of e-commerce transactions were informal. This is in line with the last quarter of 2019, when it was 15%. The CNC notes that if the total spending on online purchases from retail was US $596 million between January and March, US $83.4 million of that amount was allocated to informal purchases in digital retail, which do not pay any type of tax.
Chinese authorities confirmed that there are no restrictions on the importation of Chilean salmon, despite European salmon being blocked due to unfounded fears it had served as a carrier of the coronavirus. Sernapesca Director Alicia Gallardo, also announced Chinese officials had carried out an unprecedented remote joint inspection of several Chilean salmon processing plants.
Empresas Copec has hired JP Morgan to explore the sale of its 39.8% stake in Metrogas, Chile’s main natural gas distributor, which Naturgy controls with the rest of the shareholders. Copec considers its participation “very attractive for certain types of investors.”