Santiago, 3 July 2012
Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi announced the result of its tender for the supply of Alternative Renewable Energy (ARE), launched in mid-2011. The long-term contract is for 60,000 MWh/year - double the amount of energy originally tendered - to be supplied as from the last quarter of 2013, once the plant has been built.
The contract was awarded to Spain’s Solarpack, which will build two solar energy plants in the Pozo Almonte municipal district. The plants already have their Environmental Permits (RCA 000042 issued on 6 May 2011 and 000062 issued on 4 July 2011, respectively).
As a result of the tender, Collahuasi will also have a preferential right to acquire energy from another project that Solarpack plans to develop in the Tarapacá Region.
Collahuasi and Solarpack have, in addition, agreed to collaborate in installing an R&D plant in the grounds of Collahuasi’s port in the Patache sector of the Tarapacá Region in order to test different latest-generation photovoltaic technologies under real conditions of use.
Roberto Darouiche and Miguel Ángel Durán, the leaders of Collahuasi’s new organisational structure, indicated that they were “very pleased to announce the results of this tender, a pioneer in the development of ARE in Chile, whose result demonstrates Collahuasi’s commitment to sustainable development”. They added that, “given the important solar radiation resources that exist in the north of Chile, this step taken by Collahuasi opens the way to development of a source of renewable energy to provide efficient and complementary support for the sustainable growth of our copper mining operation in the Tarapacá Region”.
Pablo Burgos, director general of Grupo Solarpack, indicated that “all the Solarpack team is very satisfied with the trust that Collahuasi has placed in us for the development of this important project in Chile, which gives a new boost to our international track record in the construction and management of solar photovoltaic farms. This project also represents a consolidation of our commitment to Chile, with its decided interest in the development of alternative renewable energies”.
Chile’s electricity legislation requires that, in complying with all new contracts and those modified after 31 August 2007 for the supply of electricity generated from fossil fuels, generators must obtain part of the energy from Alternative Renewable Energy (ARE) sources. In view of this and in order to ensure supply of ARE at competitive prices, Collahuasi decided to call an international tender for a block of at least 30,000 MWh/year, with the option of increasing the amount.
In the first prequalification stage, 94 companies or consortia based in Chile showed interest in participating and 39 qualified and were invited to bid. Finally, ten companies or consortia presented bids.
The companies presenting bids offered attractive and competitive long-term prices that will mean a substantial saving on Collahuasi’s energy costs.
In view of the competitiveness of the bids received, significant weight was given to corporate social responsibility (CSR) factors in awarding the contract. It was, for example, important for Collahuasi that the plant and, therefore, Solarpack’s investment will be in the Tarapacá Region and considers the use of local labour.
Carlos Finat, Collahuasi’s energy manager, indicated that, “we would like to thank all the companies and consortia that participated in the tender; their efforts and professionalism made our decision particularly difficult”. In the company’s view, “it is now necessary for the sector’s authorities, the grid’s dispatch office (CDEC-SING) and the players to work together with a sense of urgency in order to ensure conditions for maximising the injection of ARE into the grid without posing risks to its stability and security,” he added.
Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi SCM is Chile’s third largest mine and, in 2011, produced 453,284 tonnes of copper content. The company’s shareholders are Anglo American plc and Xstrata plc, both with 44%, and a Japanese consortium led by Mitsui. Over 10,000 people work directly or indirectly at Collahuasi.
Solarpack is a multinational company of Spanish origin (www.solarpack.es) that specialises in the development, construction and operation of solar photovoltaic plants. Founded in 2005, Solarpack has been a pioneer in this industry’s development.