South Korean firm opens 517mw gas-fired power plant in Chile

Samsung C&T President & CEO Kim Shin (third from the left), Korea Southern Power President & CEO Yoon Jong-geun (fourth from the left), and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet (sixth from the left) are attending the ceremony celebrating the construction of Kelar power plant in Chile. [Photo provided by Samsung C&T Corp.]

SANTIAGO – South Korea’s Samsung C&T Corp., the construction and trading arm of Samsung Group, together with state-run Korea Southern Power Co. celebrated the completion of building the Kelar gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Chile, the company said Sunday.

The 517-megawatt gas-fired combined-cycle power plant constructed in Mejillones region on the northwestern coast of Chile is a project launched by Australian mining giant BHP Billiton in 2013 that it will supply electricity to a copper mine owned by the miner in the future.

The Korean firms will be operating the power plant up to 30 years as the project owner that ordered the construction of the power plant also guarantees to purchase electricity, said an unnamed Samsung C&T official, adding that it is the Korean firms’ first private power plant construction and operation project secured in Chile.

Samsung C&T in partnership with Korea Southern Power joined the Kelar power plant project as shareholders while its affiliate Samsung Engineering Co. has handled the construction and state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea has led financing work.

The company has expanded its presence in Latin American power plant market over the past years by building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Manzanillo, Mexico and the Norte II combined-cycle power plant, also in Mexico prior to landing on the Kelar power project in Chile.