Chile's Asimet working on boosting energy efficiency

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Chilean metallurgical and metal-mechanic association Asimet is working to boost its sector energy efficiency due to the industry's increasing costs, its president Gastón Lewin told BNamericas.

"We're very committed on this issue, we discussed this some months ago with energy minister [Máximo Pacheco], and we will continue to inform [our associates]. We want to be the multipliers of what the energy ministry is doing on this issue," Lewin said.

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The industry representative said that the recent agreement signed between the ministry and the country's largest mining companies, which will carry out independent energy audits to improve efficiency, could serve as a model for the metallurgical industry.

"In the end, if you take into account what you could save with new [and more efficient] motors, compressors and other equipment, you add value and productivity to these companies," Lewin said.

Lewin lauded the government's recent energy agenda seeking to bring down energy costs 30% at the central SIC grid during President Michelle Bachelet's term.

Chile's metallurgical and metal-mechanic industry accounts for 27% of the country's electrical consumption, Lewin said, adding that the energy-intensive sector needs a secure energy supply at competitive prices.

"In the last decade the cost of energy in Chile has grown 193%, while the world average was 111%," Lewin said at an industry event.

The executive added that in the last three years the marginal cost of energy for the industrial sector in the central SIC grid has been above US$100MW/h, reaching a peak of US$246/MW7h in June 2013. On average the cost of energy for the industry has been US$175/MW/, twice as much as competitor Peru.

Minister Pacheco said some of the measures in the government's plan include introducing more competition into the market, including new actors and new technology, as well as increasing the supply of LNG to the energy matrix.

"A balanced energy matrix forces us to diversify our resources... we can't put all of our eggs in a single basket," he said.