Chile: New hydropower project opened

Chilean renewable power generation company Hydrochile S.A. has opened the 60 MW El Paso hydropower project. The facility was built on the Las Damas River in the Colchagua province and provides electricity to Chile’s central grid. Works at the site include the pump house, water tank, powerhouse, energy dissipation drop structures, spillway, surge tank and access roads. Investment in the plant totalled US$135 million, and the project employed 555 people during its construction and will employ 20 workers when operating. HydroChile acquired the water rights for the initiative in December 2007 and originally proposed to develop a 40 MW project. Other hydro projects the company is involved in developing include the 40 MW San Andres, and the company is developing a 170 MW pipeline of run-of-river projects in Chile.