Alstom has been selected by Transmision Eléctrica del Norte (TEN), a subsidiary of E-CL an electric company based in Chile and part of the Engie Group, to supply four turnkey substations for Chile’s first interconnection system, the Mejillones – Cardones Transmission line. The contract, worth approximately €260 million (US$ 278 million), includes the installation of three new 500 kV substations in Chacayita, Los Changos and Cumbres, as well as the expansion of the Nueva Cardones substation. The project, due to be completed in 2017, will create a country-wide 580 km super electric highway interconnection system bringing together the two existing highways: Central Interconnected System (SIC) and the Interconnected System of Norte Grande (SING).
The SIC – covering central Chile - transmits almost 70% of the country electricity generation and serves over 90% of Chile's population of over 18 million. SING serves northern Chile, which generates a further 20% of the country’s electricity with plans to produce more in the future.
Alstom will supply its air-insulated and gas-insulated substations that will contribute to a total of 1500 MW of energy transmission. Alstom will also provide and install its high voltage power compensation products to enhance the power quality of installations, making the electrical network efficient, secure and with stable energy flow. All equipment will be manufactured in Alstom’s world class manufacturing facilities in Brazil, China, Finland and France, with a local dedicated project team at the site in Chile.
“The Mejillones – Cardones Transmission line is a tremendous step forward for Chile. It is a fantastic opportunity for Alstom to put its innovative technologies to the fore again and contribute to improving the electricity supply for the Chilean people, while bolstering the Chilean economy”, says Sergio Gomes, Vice President of Alstom Grid in Latin America.
Chile is experiencing a rapid growth of 4.5% of energy demand per year and this interconnection line will address growing energy needs particularly in central and southern Chile where the population is most dense. Surplus energy will be channelled and thus optimised from the north to the centre and vice versa, reducing Chile’s overall energy bill. This interconnection project is led by the Chilean Energy Ministry as part of an overall plan to develop sustainable power supply.