SANTIAGO, July 9 Chilean state miner Codelco said on Wednesday it is launching a roughly $2.3 billion tender to supply the world's leading copper producer with fuel until 2020.
The contract includes fuel supply, transport, storage, internal distribution, minor maintenance and automatization, and will be awarded at the end of the year.
"The chief aim of the tender is to maintain Codelco's competitiveness, favoring long-term contracts with conditions that help stimulate the participation of the highest possible number of participants," Codelco's head of Energy and Water Resources Andres Alonso said in the statement posted on the miner's website.
"Codelco estimates the average amount of yearly consumption will be around 530 thousand cubic meters of fuel, at an annual cost of $450 million," the miner added.
The miner's current fuel supply deal, also auctioned off via tender in 2009, runs out in April 2015.
Codelco, which produces around 10 percent of the world's red metal, is battling to bring down its costs and maximize efficiency at a time of dwindling ore grades and lower copper prices. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer and Fabian Cambero; Editing by Bernard Orr)