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China's SGCC offers to construct HidroAysen power line [free access]

January 4, 2012

China’s biggest power network owner State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) has submitted a formal proposal to HidroAysén, a joint venture between locally owned Colbun and Chilean power generators Empresa Nacional de Electricidad SA (ENDESA), for the construction of the 1,912 km transmission line associated with the proposed Chilean HidroAysen power project comprising five hydroelectric plants aggregating 2,750 MW.


The transmission line estimated to cost around USD4 billion will be used to transport power from the five hydroelectric power plants proposed to be constructed on Chile's two biggest rivers (Baker and Pascua).


The transmission project has been facing opposition as the company plans to lay the line through vast swaths of pristine land and because of plans to dam the Baker and Pascua rivers. The company plans to submit the environmental impact study (EIS) for the line in March 2012.


Recently, the company announced the line route of the project which will cross seven of Chile’s fifteen regions, including national parks, private protected areas, priority conservation sites, wetlands and indigenous communities.


However, HidroAysén plans to officially launch the tender for the construction of the transmission line once it obtains environmental permits, which could happen in the next 12 or 24 months.