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Bachelet announces emergency plan to tackle energy shortage with natural gas

Friday, May 16th 2014 - 11:08 UTC
Full article 25 comments

President Michelle Bachelet announced on Thursday that Chile would invest 650 million dollars to build a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and strengthen the state-run oil company in an effort to deal with a mounting power crunch. Read full article


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  • Klingon

    1000's of km's of coastline and they can put up a few wind turbines?
    LNG power sounds like a bad short term plan. Surely they can strike a balance between nature and a hydro dam.

    May 16th, 2014 - 11:18 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    Wind turbines are not the answer IMO.

    That oil refinery between Quintero and Zapallar is an ugly scar on a beautiful coastline. Chileans tell me there have been problems with pollution there. But, I guess, expanding it couldn't be any more unsightly.

    As the article says, this is the dilemma of developing countries. Chile is an extraordinarily beautiful country and relatively unspoilt but in order for it to develop and benefit Chileans, there has to be more available power.

    I personally agree with the proposed hydroelectric dam. When I was in the Aisen region, pretty much everyone I spoke to thought it would be good for the area. I would hazard a guess that the people in Santiago protesting the development of the dam have all the power and conveniences they need. JMO

    May 16th, 2014 - 12:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    There are 100s of turbine on the coast and more going up all the time. Wind turbine alone are not the solution.

    There are pilot projects in the north for solar plants. For me this is much more important. The mines need energy in the north and the potential for solar-electric generation is massive.

    @2 Elaine
    As was pointed out during the popular protests during Piñera's term, our environmentalists have put themselves in the extraordinary position of preferring fossil fuel over hydro in the name of aesthetics.

    May 16th, 2014 - 01:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Tobers

    Dams aren't just an aesthetical problem. Its a bit more complicated than that.

    May 16th, 2014 - 02:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    The transmission lines were a large part of the aesthetical issue, but there are solutions for that.

    It is not such a complicated issue. There are 3 options for power generation. Fossil fuel, hydro and nuclear. The latter is a non starter in the world's most seismically active country. That leaves hydro and fossil fuel. If we can't have hydro then we have to have fossil fuel generation.
    Which is the lesser evil for the environment?

    May 16th, 2014 - 02:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    South America need to connect its grids and produce electricity when nature provides it, be it hydro, wind or solar. All those sources has to be invested on, not one in particular. Furthermore, we need to get more involved in the research on storage of energy.
    Still, we won't be able to uphold a consumption that is seen in some European nations, not to mention USA. Therefor, it's crucial that we also use energy when energy is provided.
    Heat pumps should be a demand in all [industrial] warm water systems.

    May 16th, 2014 - 03:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    You're asking for international co-operation, then?

    May 16th, 2014 - 04:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    South America would suffice for now. Transportation of energy has a price after all...

    May 16th, 2014 - 05:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    Complicated agreements and treaties requiring investment in infrastructure and guaranteed production and Distribution.

    May 16th, 2014 - 05:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    Different time zones assures that any excess always is used, thus affecting the whole in a positive way, regardless of any treaty restriction.
    The real problem would be to convince those who earn money from this abuse of energy. Fossile in particular.

    May 16th, 2014 - 05:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    You need equitable sharing and investment too

    May 16th, 2014 - 06:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @10 I see what you are saying but it gets tricky when countries fall out. With the best will in the world power and water supplies are not immune from abuse. Look at Russia and the Ukraine.

    Chile has an unreliable supplier of additional gas so they really should look at increasing their own ability to meet their growing demand. If they complete the hydroelectric dam they would have a surplus and could sell it.

    May 16th, 2014 - 06:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    @12 Elaine,
    Absolutely correct. Investing in interconnectivity exposes you to the whims of your neighbours. Not so long ago we built a nice trans-Andean pipeline ... we all know how that ended.

    May 16th, 2014 - 06:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    And now we'd like to introduce Stevie the brainless divot. He has a “plan”. Listen to him. If he sounds like a prat, go out, find him and shoot him. You may have to travel. He doesn't live in Urineguay. He's off somewhere that he can get benefits. He has no intention of returning to Urineguay. What sticks if you throw it? Stevie is full of it.

    May 16th, 2014 - 08:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The_Truth_shall_B_Trolld

    Absolutely no way I would trust Chilean or Uruguayan involvement in Argentina's grid.

    We don't have energy problems anyway, so whatever problems Chile or Brazil have I could give a darn. They can run out completely for all I care.

    May 16th, 2014 - 10:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    15 Nostrils

    Stevie has a point. A continental power grid to tie in diverse resources would certainly help.

    It works well in North America where we have a cascade of hydro-electric dams and reservoirs from the US Southwest, all the way up to Northern British Columbia in Canada. As snow melts and water flows, it assures a reliable supply.

    We co- operate, political differences aside, and it works.

    Nostril @ 15
    “We don't have energy problems anyway, so whatever problems Chile or Brazil have I could give a darn. They can run out completely for all I care.”

    You have just demonstrated the greatest barrier to a similar arrangement in South America.

    May 16th, 2014 - 10:48 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ilsen

    I think hydro-electiric combined with a continentel grid solution is the way forward for Chile.
    They would have a long-term sustaniable supply and could buy/sell into the grid. Unfortunately having such unstable neighbours such as Argentina does not make this viable.
    Situations such as these, and Venezuela attempting to use oil as political-currency, lie at the heart of the problems holdin Latin America back.

    May 16th, 2014 - 11:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Ѕtevіе

    15 TTT
    Who do you think provided power during the Buenos Aires summer power cuts?

    No prizes for guessing ;)

    May 17th, 2014 - 12:45 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    If there were cuts, obviously nobody provided, fake Stevie.

    Say after me, the Falklands are Argentine.

    May 17th, 2014 - 01:26 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ilsen

    What are the realistic possibilities of Chile, or any country, introducing enough economically vialble heat pumps to provide for a major city?

    I am not taking the mickey. Could this be done?

    links anyone?

    May 17th, 2014 - 02:39 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The_Truth_shall_B_Trolld


    In Mendoza power problems in Buenos Aires are irrelevant.

    May 17th, 2014 - 03:10 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ilsen


    All local power supply problems are interlinked as they affect the global market. When demand outstrips supply in one area the price overall increases. Equally when supply drops... You are affected when the world gas/oil/LPG price changes are you not?
    Or if Venezuela goes broke (soon), and stops subsidising Argentina and the ALBA nations?
    This won't affect Mendoza?

    May 17th, 2014 - 03:22 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    Chile, Australia would be a reliable supplier of LNG and we're just across the Pacific. We're ramping up to be the world's largest LNG exporter.

    No need to worry about economically unreliable Argentineans or bitter Bolivians. And we won't do a Russia and hold you to ransom if you disagree with us.

    May 17th, 2014 - 09:15 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    The transportation of LNG across the Pacific would make oil a cheaper and more environmental friendly alternative...

    May 17th, 2014 - 09:20 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest


    if you could get it out of the ground - which you can't.

    May 17th, 2014 - 06:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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