According to a new report on renewables by the Chilean national energy commission (CNE), figures show that Chile’s renewable energy plants generated 1,136 GWh of electricity in May which is equal to 17.7% of the nation’s total power production. Production levels decreased by 3.5% month-on-month, causing the renewables share to drop from 19% recorded in April. Total installed renewable energy capacity in the Chilean system reached 5,675 MW by the end of May, growing from 5,606 MW registered the month before. Renewables now account for 23.3% of Chile’s total installed capacity.
According to iConstruye, a digital platform linked to the Chilean Chamber of Construction, the number of new projects barely reaches 10 per month, versus the industry average of 50 per month before COVID-19. The data also shows that the start of new projects fell 86% in April in relation to the same month in 2019. Meanwhile, in May, the drop was even lower at 92%.
According to a report by the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (ABIF), the number of clients connecting to online banking sites or apps reached more than 11 million in March, while the number of visits totaled 277 million sessions in the same month. Regarding the number of transactions carried out, the report indicates that, as of May, 55% of sales by credit card are associated with operations carried out over the internet; while ATM withdrawals decreased 54%, after less than 18 million were finalized last month.
According to the president of the National Confederation of Small Industry and Crafts of Chile (Conupia), Roberto Rojas, a high percentage of SMEs could be forced to go into bankruptcy due to the economic effects caused by the pandemic. Rojas projects that “up to 150,000 or 180,000 SMEs could disappear”. He predicts that commerce, tourism, gastronomy and live entertainment will be the most affected sectors.
Chile’s mining minister, Baldo Prokuric, projected a decline in Chile’s copper output of 200,000 tonnes due to the economic effects of the pandemic. Prokurica said the Cochilco copper commission’s projection, representing around 3.5% of Chile’s total 2019 production, was a best guess since the combined impact of the virus and economic fallout made it “very difficult” to predict with certainty.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a US $300 million loan to Chile to: enable the country to improve the incomes of the most vulnerable people, improve the adequacy of solidarity pension systems, improve the availability of medicines at a lower cost, improve the efficiency of public spending and the quality of the budget formulation process.
The Chilean Minister of Agriculture, Antonio Walker, announced the start of the paperless phytosanitary certification between Chile and the U.S. This means that the products of plant origin being marketed between both countries will only require an electronic certificate to enter the destination country. This will streamline the export process and decrease its costs. It also represents a significant advance because, as Walker pointed out, “the U.S is a strategic partner for Chile, as more than a third of our fresh fruit is exported there.”
Isabel Quiroz from IQonsulting gave a presentation on how markets could look in 2021. According to the presentation, for Latin American and the Caribbean region, projections fluctuate between -5.2% in 2020 and a growth of 3.4% in 2021. Chile and Peru are estimated to be the countries with the best recovery, as their economies could fall to -4.5% in 2020, but they are set to increase by 5.3% and 5.2% respectively in 2021.
LATAM has suspended ticket sales on 23 routes across its network, including several domestic routes within Chile and international routes from Brazil, Chile and Peru. This is part of the carrier’s restructuring process the airline submitted as part of Chapter the 11 bankruptcy protection that seeks to make the carrier more efficient in what is likely to be a smaller post-COVID-19 market.
Engie Energia Chile has signed an agreement to supply 100% renewable power to a unit of Chilean steel and mining giant Grupo CAP. Under the agreement, the Chilean subsidiary of France’s Engie will supply 420 GWh per year to power Compania Siderurgica Huachipato (CAP Acero), located in Talcahuano. With this PPA, which will run for 15 years starting in 2021, Engie Chile will help CAP Acero’s industrial plant to avoid the annual emission of approximately 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to planting more than 386,000 trees.