Codelco launches solar plant to supply energy to mine in Antofagasta
Oct 15, 2013 - Chile's state-owned mining company Codelco launched yesterday a solar plant that will supply thermal energy of 54 GWh a year for the electrowinning process at its Gabriela Mistral (Gaby) deposit in the northern Antofagasta region.
The plant, built by Chilean firm Energia Llaima and Danish Sunmark, will replace over 85% of the fossil fuel used in electrowinning units at Gabriela Mistral, which produces 120,000 tonnes of copper a year. Codelco expects to save USD 7 million (EUR 5.2m) from energy costs during the 10-year contract.
The plant, Pampa Elvira Solar, started test operations at the end of August after eight months of construction. It has 2,620 panels installed on 90,000 sq m (968,800 sq ft).
Diana Hristova is our expert for Latin America. She has spent several years following the diverse industries in the region, the energy sector most of all. Now Diana is exploring Latin America’s huge wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower potential.