SANTIAGO Feb 7 Chile's environmental regulator
has allowed Endesa Chile's 128-megawatt Bocamina I coal-fired
plant to resume operations, likely helping ease the Andean
country's spot power prices.
The SMA regulator had ordered a temporary suspension of the
controversial plant last month after local fishermen protested,
saying it kills marine life and pollutes ocean water.
"The company will proceed to implement the provisional
measures ordered by authorities, and the Bocamina I
thermoelectric plant will be put in operation as soon as
possible," Endesa Chile said in a statement on Thursday
An appeals court in December halted the neighboring
350-megawatt Bocamina II plant in Chile's southern Bio Bio
In a significant shift for business-friendly Chile, social
groups are successfully suing massive projects over threats to
glaciers, health, indigenous rights and biodiversity.
Projects that use coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil
fuel, have fared particularly poorly.
The suspension of energy complexes come as copper powerhouse
Chile is scrambling to tame surging power prices and bring fresh
generation on line.
One of the big questions for Chile's power-hungry mining
companies is whether President-elect Michelle Bachelet, who
takes office in March, will be able to solve the looming energy