Saturday, October 20, 2007

Chilean hydropower project wins antitrust approval

SANTIAGO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Chile's antitrust commission has given electricity generators Endesa and Colbun the green light to build five hydroelectric power plants in the south of the country to help cover the country's energy shortfall.

In a statement issued late on Friday, the commission said the companies could push ahead with the $4 billion HidroAysen project but it laid down a series of conditions.

The main condition relates to a 1,300-mile (2,000-km) transmission line to connect the plants to Chile's central electricity grid, which serves the most populous part of the country including the capital Santiago.

The commission said the companies must allow bids from third parties who want to use the line. Any such company must be given at least six months to make its bid.

The antitrust commission also insisted Endesa and Colbun should enter a consultation process before they bid for more water rights in the Aysen region.

Finally, it said that the HidroAysen management company must remain a publicly listed company.

Here is the full article.