Luz de Atacama power station

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Chile.
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The Luz de Atacama power station was a 1410-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station proposed for northern Chile.


The map below shows the Atacama Desert, where the plant was to be built.

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The Luz de Atacama project was to combine a port, a desalination plant, and a power station. The project was proposed by a group of former executives of AES Gener, to be implemented in stages over a term of eight years. The size of the power units was not specified, nor was the exact location of the project in the Atacama Desert. The project was to include the construction of a port with two sites for large ships. The design of the project included the cogeneration of power and desalinated water. It was slated to use supercritical combustion.[1]

In June 2016 the EIA was rejected for insufficient documentation. The sponsor said they plan to resubmit the EIA.[2]

An EIA submitted in July 2016 describes the project as "at least 350 MW" with a total project cost of US$4 billion.[3]

In August 2016, the Atacama region's Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental (SEA) announced early termination of its evaluation of the Luz de Atacama project due to insufficient information. The SEA's decision required that Luz de Atacama's management team provide all missing background information requested by the SEA within five days or begin the entire environmental impact assessment process anew.[4]

In May 2017, El Diario de Atacama identified Luz de Atacama as the largest of three fossil fuel-based power plants that had recently been cancelled due to the growing viability of renewable energy projects in northern Chile.[5]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Luz de Atacama
  • Parent company:
  • Location: Atacama Desert, Chile
  • Coordinates: -24.6, -70.5 (approximate)
  • Status:
    • Phase 1: Shelved
    • Phase 2: Shelved
  • Capacity: 1,410 MW total
    • Phase 1: 350 MW
    • Phase 2: 1,060 MW
  • Type: Supercritical
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

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