Chile: 8 companies in bidding for geothermal concessions

Alexander Richter 25 Feb 2009

Announced in Chile, the first call for tenders for geothermal concessions in Chile has proven to be extremly successful.

Announced in Chile, the first call for tenders for geothermal concessions in Chile has proven to be extremly successful. Translated from Spanish the following is a rough summary of the content of that article.

This is the first bidding process for geothermal concession areas by the Chilean Ministry of Mines. “A total of eight companies have submitted proposals to the Ministry of Mines to participate in the bidding for the granting of concessions for geothermal exploration at Puchuldiza South 1 and South 2, close to the municipality of Colchane, located in the Tarapacá region.

This result is extremely positive as it shows the strong interest of international investors, of which none had a subsidiary with a presence in Chile before. It also highlights the strong involvement of regional players, such as the Chilean and Andean Energy Consortium with Enapm (40% stake), the mining group Luksic, Antofagasta Minerals (60% stake) and Compania de Salitre Iodine and Cala-Cala, a local mining company.

The strong growth of electricity demand in the country and the search for renewable energy sources, indicate that electricity generation through geothermal resources will play an important role in the long term for Chile.

The potential for geothermal is associated with the volcanic activity in the Northern Andes, close to the border to Bolivia and Argentina. Experts estimate a potential of 16,000 MW installed geothermal electricity generation capacity, which exceeds by far the current installed capacity in the country.

Companies that have participated in the bidding process:

  • Magma Energy Chile (subsidiary of Canadian Magma Energy Corp. with a funding of US$23m and development projects in Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua, Peru and Western U.S.)
  • Polaris Energy Chile (subsidiary of Canadian Polaris Geothermal Inc. with its project at San Jacinto, Nicaragua)
  • Aquavant SA (subsidiary of U.S. based Ormat Technologies, Inc. with geothermal projects and turbines world-wide)
  • GGE Chile SpA (subsidiary of GeoGlobal Energy LLC)
  • Nevada Geothermal Power Chile SA (subsidary of Canadian Nevada Geothermal Power Inc with projects in Oregon and Nevada in the U.S.)
  • Seawind South America Ltda (representatives of British Seawind, primarily a wind form development firm, but with geothermal ambitions)
  • Energy Andina SA (consortium of state oil company Enap, mining group Luksic, Antofagasta Minerals, with current exploration in Tinguirica, Region VI)
  • Compania de Salitre Iodine and Cala-Cala (Chilean mining company with geothermal concessions in the North and South of Chile)

Source: Invertia Chile