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Largest Coal-Fired Powerplant in South America Wins Approval

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Chile has green-lighted a $4.4-billion coal-fired plant in the northern part of the country that will boast an installed capacity of 2,354 MW when completed in 2016, making it the largest powerplant in South America. The Hacienda Castilla project is being developed by MPX Energia SA, a Chilean unit of Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista’s mining, energy and engineering group EBX. In February, the company was granted a license for the project by the Chilean environmental agency, overturning an earlier environmental ruling that had threatened to derail the effort. Hacienda Castilla will involve building six 350-MW power-generating units as well as a 127-MW diesel-powered backup unit to provide power to Chile’s central SIC grid. In December, MPX Energia received environmental approval to construct a $300-million port needed to provide fuel to the planned plant.

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