Chile rejects proposal for 2,750-MW HidroAysen hydroelectric project

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The proposed 2,750-MW HidroAysen hydroelectric project was rejected by the Chilean government yesterday following a three-hour meeting of the country's ministers of agriculture, energy, mining, economy and health.

The controversial plan, which would have included the 600-MW Baker 1 and 360-MW Baker 2 on the Baker River, plus the 460-MW Pascua 1, 770-MW Pascua 2.1, and 500-MW Pascua 2.2 on the Pascua River, was unanimously refused by the ministers.

Though the plant would have helped Chile meet its need to triple its current 18,000 MW of overall generating capacity, the plant has been opposed by much of the Chilean population throughout its development.

HidroAysen was being developed by a joint venture between European energy producer Endesa, which owns 51%, and Chile's Colbun SA, which owns the remainder.

The group now has 30 days to challenge the committee's decision in the Environmental Court of Valdivia and the nation's Supreme Court.

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