Solar park to be China's biggest investment in Chile

Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:41pm IST

* $900 million, 300-megawatt solar park planned
    * Avid copper consumer China is Chile's top trade partner
    * Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on Latin American tour

    SANTIAGO, June 26 (Reuters) - Chinese renewable energy
company Sky Solar, state-backed China Development Bank and
Chilean industrial group Sigdo Koppers plan to make a Chinese
firm's biggest investment in the Andean country: a $900 million
solar energy park, export promotion agency ProChile said on
Tuesday.
    Top copper producer Chile needs significant new investment
in its shaky energy grid after years of neglect, which has been
exacerbated by a devastating 2010 earthquake, recurrent droughts
and growing opposition to major energy projects. 
    The government aims to add some 8,000 megawatts of installed
capacity by 2020 to the country's current 17,000 megawatt power
matrix.
   
    Leading copper consumer China has made relatively few major
investments in Chile, despite being its main trade partner and
sharing a free trade agreement.
    Sky Solar, the China Development Bank and Sigdo Koppers
 will ink an agreement later on Tuesday to develop the
300 MW solar energy project over the next three years, ProChile
said.
    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is in Chile in the last leg of an
official visit to Latin America.

 (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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