Chilean power-plant ruling unleashes bitter debate


A decision in late August by Chile’s Supreme Court to halt the US$5 billion Castilla coal-fired thermoelectric project planned for northern Chile is shaking up this country’s energy industry and causing a firestorm of debate over the proper role of government in environmental questions. Castilla, proposed by Brazilian energy giant MPX, would have been one of Chile’s largest power-generating sources, comprising six coal-fired power plants and a diesel-fueled plant. Sited 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of Santiago close to Chile’s lucrative copper industry, the complex would have provided 2,100 megawatts of installed capacity. Chile’s growing business sector worries the country’s overall installed capacity, currently 16,970 megawatts, will not keep pace with future demand. The high court based its decision in... [Log in to read more]

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