December 3, 2012 / 8:51 PM / in 5 years

Chile lifts suspension on Endesa's 740 MW coal-powered project

* Thermoelectric had been blocked on environmental grounds
    * Power-intensive miners seen cheering decision
    * World No.1 copper producer Chile facing energy woes

    SANTIAGO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - A Chilean ministerial group
lifted a suspension on energy firm Endesa's 740-megawatt Punta
Alcalde coal-fired thermoelectric project, local media said on
Monday, in a boon for miners in the mineral-rich north of the
world's No.1 copper producing nation.
    An environmental commission had in June blocked Endesa's
 $1.4 billion complex, citing the project's potential
polluting effect on air quality and marine life. 
    Agriculture minister Luis Mayol said the ministerial
committee in charge of reviewing the project had unanimously
voted to give it the green light, radio Cooperativa reported. 
    The energy ministry was not immediately available for
comment to Reuters.
    Environmental groups are increasingly opposing power
projects ranging from coal-fired thermoelectric plants in
Chile's northern Atacama, the world's driest desert, to
hydropower dams in the pristine Patagonia region.

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