Ventanas power station

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Ventanas is a 875-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Ventanas, Puchuncaví, V Region, Chile. The plant is operated by AES Gener S.A..

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the plant, which is near Puchuncaví.

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Background

Ventanas power station comprises four units, including a 120 MW unit commissioned in 1964 and a 218 MW unit commissioned in 1977. All four units are fueled by subbituminous coal imported via the attached coal port.[1]

Planned retirement

In June 2019 the Chilean government announced that Unit 1 would be retired by 2022 and Unit 2 would be retired by 2024 as part of a plan to reduce the country's annual CO2 emissions from the current 30 million tonnes (tons) to four million by 2024.[2][3]

Nueva Ventana power station (Ventana Unit 3)

Also known as Nueva Ventanas, the 270 MW Ventanas III plant, whch came online in 2010, is part of the larger Ventanas coal-fired complex operated by AES Generation South America (AES Gener). The Ventanas project dates back to 1964, when the first 120 MW unit (Ventanas I) was installed. This was followed by 220 MW Ventanas II in 1977. A fourth plant, originally called Campiche but also known as Ventanas IV, was added in 2013, making the Ventanas complex one of the largest in Chile.[4]

Campiche power station (Ventana Unit 4)

The latest addition to AES Gener's Ventanas coal-fired complex, Campiche was originally scheduled for completion in May 2011. However, in June 2009, Chile's Supreme Court ordered that construction be halted, citing improper zoning of the plant. AES Gener had already completed 40% of the $500 million project before it was halted. Subsequent regulatory changes allowed construction of the plant to resume, but the project was again suspended in early 2010 as Puchuncaví municipality took legal steps against the plant due to environmental concerns. In July, 2010, AES Gener reached an agreement with Puchuncaví to renew construction of Campiche, promising in return to invest nearly US$80 million in environmental improvements of the company's local thermal power plants, in public projects and forestation.[5] The plant was brought online in March 2013.[6]

Environmental Impact

In late December 2013, several tons of sardines washed up dead on Ventanas beach near the plant, spurring renewed controversy over Campiche's environmental impact and prompting calls for suspension of operations.[7][8][9] In April 2018 a lawsuit was filed against AES Gener by a group of 259 fisherman, demanding damages as a result of AES Gener dumping coal in the bay of Ventanas.[10]

Marchers protest industrial pollution in Ventanas, Chile, in April 2019

In April 2019 a protest was staged in Ventanas against industrial pollution, including a plan by AES Gener to use additional desalinated sea water at the Ventanas power station.[11]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: AES Gener S.A.
  • Parent company: AES
  • Location: Ventanas, Puchuncaví, V Region, Chile
  • Coordinates: -32.7512, -71.4825 (exact)
  • Status: Operating (Units 1-4)
  • Gross Capacity:
    • Unit 1: 120 MW (1964)[1]
    • Unit 2: 218 MW (1977)[1]
    • Unit 3: 267 MW(2010)[1]
    • Unit 4: 270 MW (2013)[1]
  • Type: Subcritical[1]
  • Coal Type: Subbituminous[1]
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

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References

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