Chile is studying supplying neighbouring Argentina with electricity during the southern hemisphere's summer, when demand spikes, daily newspaper La Tercera reported Wednesday.
Although Chile's central SIC power grid is facing energy tightness due to an ongoing drought, the northern energy SING grid has excess capacity which could be transferred to Argentina. The SIC and SING grids aren't connected.
In fact, we've had high level talks. We have talked about interconnecting [power grids] and supplying Argentina with our excess energy during their peak season, which is in summer, Adolfo Zaldivar, Chile's ambassador to Argentina told La Tercera.
Electricity could be transferred over Chilean power company AES Gener SA's existing power line which connects its Salta plant in Argentina to the northern SING grid.
Last year, Chile and Argentina created four joint energy commissions that aim to increase cross-border cooperation. Among other things, the government-level commissions will analyze energy swaps, study connecting both nation's grids, and exchange information on developing nuclear energy.
In 2008, the SING grid was affected by a power crunch as a result of Argentina's cutting back its natural gas exports to Chile as well as higher international crude prices at the time.
The SING grid covers the far northern reaches of Chile, where the bulk of the country's booming mining industry resides. Chile produces a third of the world's copper.
The central SIC power grid supplies energy to over 90% of Chile's population and runs from the northern city of Taltal to the southern island of Chiloe.