21 December 2006 -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received a turnkey order from Empresa Electrica Guacolda S.A., an electricity provider in Chile, for a 152 MW coal-fired power generation plant to be built at the Guacolda Power Station in Huasco.
Previously, MHI received orders for the No. 1 and No. 2 units of identical scale at the same plant, and the latest order marks the third unit ordered by the company. The No. 3 unit is scheduled to go on-stream in September 2009.
The new power plant to be built in Huasco, approximately 700 km north of Santiago, Chile's capital, will consist of a boiler, steam turbine, generator and steam condenser. MHI will manufacture the boiler at its Yokohama Dockyard and Machinery Works, which is also responsible for the plant construction work, and the steam turbine and steam condenser at its Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works. Mitsubishi Electric Corp. will supply the generator and Mitsubishi Corp. will handle the trade particulars.
Electrica Guacolda, headquartered in Santiago, is a mid-sized electricity provider in Chile. Based on long-term sales contracts, the company provides electricity to power distributors and state-owned and private copper mining companies. The Guacolda Power Station is advantageously located in Huasco in the proximity of customers.
Historically, hydropower has been Chile's major power source, but hydropower is vulnerable to seasonal and climatic changes connected to rainfall quantity. In response, the Chilean government began to diversify its energy mix to increase thermal power generation by natural gas and coal. However, to secure the energy resources to fuel its thermal power generation plants, Chile must rely on imports. Ever since the country faced a natural gas crisis in 2004, when the government of Argentina limited natural gas exports to Chile, coal-fired power plants have begun to receive renewed attention as a substitute for plants fired by natural gas.