AES Gener in Chile closes coal-fired power plant amid push to end carbon emissions from the grid

SANTIAGO, Dec 29 (Reuters) – The Chilean unit of US company AES (AES.N) shut down a coal-fired power plant along Chile’s central Pacific coast on Tuesday ahead of schedule amid a campaign by the South American nation to cut carbon emissions from its grid.

Chile in 2019 signed an agreement with the main generators AES Gener, Colbún (COLBUN.SN)In it (ENELCHILE.SN) and Engie (ENGIE.PA) phase out the country’s coal-fired power plants, which currently produce about 40% of the country’s electricity.

The deal is part of a broader move by Chile, a country rich in wind and solar resources, to decarbonise the country’s grid and become carbon neutral by 2050.

For its part, AES Gener decided to bring forward the closure of its Ventanas 1 coal-fired power plant and said it would close its Ventanas 2 plant in 2022. Both were originally scheduled to be withdrawn from the system in 2024.

President Sebastián Piñera said in an act to announce the closure of the Ventanas 1 Plant on Tuesday that it would be replaced “with clean and renewable energy.”

Both AES facilities are located in a coastal region widely known in Chile for recent episodes of contamination that have caused public health emergencies.

The coastal port city is home to coal-fired power plants, but also an oil refinery and a copper smelter, some of which operate in close proximity to residential areas.

The plants, although closed, will remain available to generate power in the event of an emergency, AES CEO Ricardo Falú said.

The Chilean government expects to have closed 11 coal-fired plants by 2024, three more than initially planned for that date.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero, written by Dave Sherwood

Our standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Regina Anderson

"Extreme gamer. Food geek. Internet buff. Alcohol expert. Passionate music specialist. Beeraholic. Incurable coffee fan."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *