Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Chile Power Report Q3 2012", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/20/2012 -- BMI View: There have been mixed messages emanating from Chile's power market this quarter. While a series of new projects and proposals has been announced other less positive developments may worry investors. The already-delayed HidroAysen hydroelectric project was shaken further when Colbun's board suggested that the firm suspend the preparation of an environmental assessment study because of regulatory uncertainty. Chile's growing power requirements, particularly those of its energy-intensive mining sector, depend upon a reliable supply of electricity, so any delays to projects could deter potential investors and raise the likelihood that Chile will need to turn to expensive power imports.
While hydroelectric power continues to account for the majority of energy provision in Chile, there is growing interest in renewables, with companies looking to tap into the potential of the Atacama Desert and the windy southern tip of the country. Several projects have been announced in recent months, including Andes Mainstream Renewable Power's 162 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) project and Ibereolica's 170MW Cabo Leones wind farm. Work has also started on the El Arrayan 115MW wind project. However, hydroelectric power generation continues to be a cause for concern, not least because of its unreliability in terms of drought, but also because of a drawn out environmental assessment process - Endesa waited two years before it was given approval to proceed with its Los Condores project in May 2012. In other developments, the government intends to launch a tender for new transmission lines before the end of 2012.
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During 2011-2016, BMI forecasts that Chile's total power generation will increase by an annual average of 3.81%, reaching 74 terawatt hours (TWh) at the end of this forecast period. The population is expected to rise from 17.3mn to 18.7mn during 2011-2021, and net power consumption looks set to rise from 55.5TWh in 2011 to 69.8TWh by 2016, and then to 87.2TWh by 2021. The theoretical net import requirement by 2016 is 1.22TWh, rising to 4.25TWh by 2021.
Key developments for Chile's power sector this quarter include:
- AES Gener announced in May 2012 that it will begin construction of the Alto Maipo hydroelectric and Cochrane thermal power projects before the end of 2012. The projects will cost a combined US$2.8bn
- In May 2012, Andres Mainstream Renewable Power started to develop a 12MW solar power plant in the Atacama Desert.
- The Chilean environmental commission gave Xstrata Copper and Origin Energy permission to proceed with the first of four hydropower plants in May 2012, as part of the group's US$3.6bn hydropower Energia Austral project.
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