Debate in Chile as country expands its use of coal


The government of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has set a decisive, yet controversial energy-policy course with the recent approval of two major coal projects. The proposed Mina Invierno coal mine, a US$480 million project slated for Riesco Island in southern Patagonia, last month won the approval of the Magallanes regional environmental commission. Also last month, plans for the Castilla power station, a primarily coal-fueled US$4.4-billion complex on the northern coast near Copiapó, were endorsed by the Atacama regional environmental commission. The two decisions underscore coal’s status as the preferred first line of attack in the government’s drive to double Chile’s power-generation capacity over the next 10 years from 15,000 megawatts to 30,000 megawatts. Authorities project that with 10 new... [Log in to read more]

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