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HydroChile submits EIS for US$140mn hydro project

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, April 09, 2009
Chilean renewable power firm HydroChile has submitted an EIS for the construction of a US$140mn hydro project set for the Puelche river in region VII, according to documents filed with national environmental regulator Conama. Pending approval, three run-of-the-river plants would be built in the San Clemente municipality to add a total of 50MW of capacity to the central SIC grid. The three plants are Puelche Alto (20MW), Puelche Bajo (20MW) and El Alto (10MW), and would generate a combined 240GWh/y. HydroChile holds the water rights needed to develop the project, according to the documents. The company last year submitted environmental studies to develop the 27MW El Paso plant and the 24MW San Andrés projects, both run-of-the-river plants planned for region VI. The company is planning other projects and aims to inject around 250MW into the SIC by 2012, BNamericas previously reported. In 2008, HydroChile raised US$20mn mostly from British firms and said it was planning new financing rounds. Other primary shareholders in the company include Australian and American investment firms. The company, incorporated in 2006, focuses on run-of-the-river plants from 10-50MW. Two HydroChile founders helped establish Australia's Pacific Hydro. A HydroChile spokesperson was not immediately available when contacted by BNamericas for comment on the Puelche project.

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