Chile deal for Kospo, Samsung C&T

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Chile deal for Kospo, Samsung C&T

A consortium by Korea Southern Power (Kospo) and Samsung C&T has been awarded a contract to develop a $600 million BHP Billiton natural gas plant in Chile, the global miner said on Friday.

The 517 megawatt Kelar complex, planned in Chile’s mineral-rich north, aims to provide power for BHP’s operations in the area, which includes Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine.

Construction on the plant will start at the beginning of next year, BHP said in a statement.

Kelar is set to be commercially operative as of mid-2016.

It is due to come online as a series of setbacks, including droughts and a shaky transmission grid, strain energy supply in Chile, the world’s No. 1 copper producer, pushing up costs for power-intensive businesses like mining.

Utility company Kospo makes up 65 percent of the consortium, while Samsung C&T Corporation makes up the remaining 35 percent.

It is the first time a Korean consortium was granted a deal regarding the BHP Billton natural gas plant in Chile.

The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency said more business opportunities in Chile will be available for Korean energy companies armed with environment-conscious business strategies, given the growing awareness of such issues in the region.

BY REUTERS, MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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