Alto Maipo SpA, which recently closed a $245 million loan from OPIC to construct a hydroelectric power plant in Chile, has been named Project Finance International’s Latin America Power Deal of the Year. The renewable electricity source will become a key generation facility for Santiago, Chile’s largest city and capital. The plant will reduce electricity costs for local residents as well as cut greenhouse gas emissions in a Chilean power system that has become increasingly reliant on fossil fuel.
The 531-megawatt hydroelectric power plant east of Santiago is a run-of-river project, which minimizes environmental impact by routing most of the machinery below ground without disturbing natural habitats near the site. This new source of renewable energy will also help Chile move away from burning coal and diesel for power. Construction is slated to begin in 2014 and is expected to reach completion in an estimated four to five years.
Read more from PFI on the Alto Maipo hydroelectric project.