SANTIAGO (Dow Jones)
Chile energy supplier GasAtacama SA plans to invest between $300 million and $400 million in an offshore liquefied natural gas regasification terminal off the coastline of northern Chile, Valor Futuro newswire reported Thursday citing the company's general manager Rudolf Araneda.
Over the next decade, Chile needs to nearly double its 2011 installed energy capacity of 16,000 megawatts to keep up with projected demand.
GasAtacama supplies energy to the copper mining industry through the northern SING power grid and seeks to lower generation costs through the LNG imports.
Given delays in the start-up date of two major Chilean energy projects, power plant HidroAysen and the coal-fired Hacienda Castilla project, some of the mining industry's expected investment of $100 billion from 2012 to 2020 might not come through if energy becomes scarce or too expensive in the long term.
The power company submitted an environmental impact study early Thursday for its proposed LNG floating storage and regasification unit, which would have capacity of 170,000 cubic meters. The company aims to import LNG from the U.S., it said in a separate statement Thursday.
GasAtacama is controlled by Chilean generator Empresa Nacional de Electricidad SA, or Endesa (EOC, ENDESA.SN) and private-equity fund Southern Cross.
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