Endesa Chile gives up water rights to hydroelectric projects

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Endesa Chile, the country’s largest power generator, said on Tuesday it is rescinding the water rights to several hydroelectric projects and will take a $52 million writedown this year associated with those investments.

“Endesa Chile wants to only move forward on projects that are technically and economically viable and that are embraced by the local communities,” said Chief Executive Valter Moro.

“In the case of these projects ... we’ve concluded that they are not viable and for that reason we are returning the water rights to the state so they can be used for some other type of development,” he said in a statement.

The company will give up water rights for the Bardon, Chillan 1 and 2, Futaleufu, Puelo and Huechun hydroelectric projects.

Endesa Chile is a unit of Italian utility Enel SpA.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Matthew Lewis