Chile approves US$180mn thermal plant expansion

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chilean environmental evaluation service SEA approved a US$180mn project to expand capacity of the Los Guindos thermal peaking plant in Biobío region (VIII) to 404MW from the current 132MW.

Los Guindos, which can run on natural gas or diesel, has been in operation since mid-2015.

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The expansion entails an additional dual-fuel turbine and a steam-powered turbine, thereby converting the plant from open-cycle to combined-cycle.

Los Guindos has so far operated a few days a year, and on diesel only, due to lack of gas supply, according to an environmental impact study (EIS) for the expansion filed by owner Los Guindos Generación SpA.

The additional dual-fuel turbine will run on diesel until gas supply in the region is reestablished, the EIS says.

Once this occurs, the steam turbine can be added and Los Guindos will function as a provider of base load energy, as opposed to a peaking plant.