Gener eyeing 530MW Alto Maipo construction tender in H1

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chilean generator AES Gener plans to award the construction contract for its 530MW Alto Maipo hydro project in a private tender in the first half of this year, a spokesman for the firm told BNamericas.

The firm hopes that construction on the plant set for central Chile's metropolitan region will begin this year, with the US$900mn plant online by 2016.

Local press reports suggest that European firms Impregilo, Astaldi and Hochtief, as well as Brazilian companies Camargo Corrêa and Norberto Odebrecht are interested in participating in the tender.

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The Alto Maipo project has been beset by problems since it was first announced by Gener in 2006.

The original EIS for the facility had to be resubmitted in 2008 due to environmental protests from local residents. Negotiations between Gener and local utility Aguas Andinas over the water rights were ongoing for several years.

Last year, members of Chile's lower house asked the country's national sanitation service authority (SISS) to investigate the legality of the water rights contract signed between the firms.

The appellants have expressed concerns over the likely impacts of the dam on the water supply to Chile's capital Santiago.

Gener has previously told BNamericas that it anticipates no delays in the project despite the investigation.