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German expertise called for Chilean hydropower plant

Two German construction firms have been called upon to help build a second major hydropower project in Chile

A 531-megawatt hydropower plant will be built in Chile approximately 30 kilometers southeast of Santiago at a height of roughly 2,500m

A consortium of German construction groups have been commissioned to help build a 531-megawatt hydropower plant in Chile at a cost of USD 277 million.

The four-year project, to be undertaken by HOCHTIEF Solutions and a partner, will start work in 2013 and encompasses two complex construction lots in the Andes, approximately 30 kilometers southeast of Santiago at a height of roughly 2,500 meters. The main elements are the intake structures, a total of 18.5km of tunnelling and a 5km-long steel pipeline.

The project is the second of its kind to be commissioned in Chile in recent years. In 2011, the 155MW La Confluencia hydropower project was completed, operated by Tinguiririca Energia. The plant is a 50/50 joint venture company between SN Power and the Australian power company Pacific Hydro. La Confluencia is supposed to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 423,000 tonnes per year, equal to the CO2 produced by 118,000 automobiles in a year, according to SN Power.

"With our know-how and our experienced co-workers in tunneling and power plant construction, we make a major contribution to sustainable energy supplies in high-growth markets," said Ullrich Reinke, member of the Executive Board of HOCHTIEF Solution.