Decision Again Delayed

Landau, October 6, 2009

The company Suez Energy applied for a building permit in December of 2007, for the construction of a 600 MW coal-fired power plant. The intended location was at Barrancones Point, in the Coquimbo region of Chile.

This location is in the vicinity of the Humboldt-Penguin National Reserve. Since the application has been put in, an environmental impact study has been underway. 11 public authorities have entered objections to the building of the power plant, one has simply rejected the application, and two have given their approval. The balance for Suez Energy is thus much worse than that of the corporation Codelco, which has since retracted its building permit application of the 800 MW power plant „Farellones“.

Corema (Comisión Regional del Medio Ambiente), the commission ultimately responsible for making the decision on the building of the 600 MW power plant, was supposed to come to a determination in August, but it was pushed back to September. Then Suez Energy asked for an extension so it could answer the objections, and now the date for a decision from Corema has been rescheduled for April 30, 2010. The company CMP, that wants to build a 400 MW power plant in Chungungo, has also asked for and received an extension to its building permit application. The new decision date for its intended power plant has been pushed back to July 30, 2010.

Natural protectionists and civil rights groups believe the companies are playing for time, as the regional vote for political offices will have happened by then; Suez Energy and CMP are probably hoping there will be a change in the political climate that will be to their advantage. David needs not only strength to beat Goliath, but also unending endurance.

Werner Knauf translated by Erich Greiner


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