Chile approves US$1.1 billion investment in PV sector

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Around US$1.1 billion of investment in photovoltaics have reportedly been approved by the Chilean Foreign Investment Committee (CIEC).

Five applications for investment were submitted by Sky Solar. It has now been reported that plans for 300 MW of PV power plants are under way.

Sky Solar will be working with Sigdo Koppers the Chilean international business conglomerate in transport construction and logistics, and the Development Bank of China.

Sky Solar has allegedly said it will provide 100% of the capital needed.

The Foreign Investment Committee (CIEChile) approved 10 applications on 9 July for investment by Chinese companies reaching a total of US$1.2 billion.

Vice president of CIE, Matías Mori said that “certainly this is an important step for Chinese investment in Chile. We trust that these figures are repeated in the future”.

Last January in an event organised by CIEC, US$1.3 billion of investment was presented to CIEC by China-based renewable energy developers, Sky Solar for PV energy.

The event called “The arrival of the dragon: Status and challenges of Chinese investment in Chile” was organised by CIE and Chinese Embassy in Chile, and the chamber of commerce, for political and investment discussions between the two countries.

Vice-president of the foreign investment committee, Matías Mori said at the event in January: “Since 2010, we have been implementing an investment promotion strategy focusing on Asia and, particularly, China that is now bearing fruit but is a long-term undertaking.”

Ambassador Yang Wanming said: “Chinese companies closely monitor the investment opportunities that Chile offers in fields such as infrastructure and energy.” He called for greater bilateral cooperation in areas such as green energy and innovation and suggested the possibility of organizing bilateral investment conferences.

The largest foreign investment in Chile in 2012 went to mining with 50.1%, then services 26.6%, then 10.9% electricity, gas and water.

The CIE plan for 2013 includes events with more than 80 Chinese companies and conferences in China. Trade between the two countries reached over US$30 billion in the first 11 months of 2012.

Chilean environmental authorities have approved over 4GW of solar projects over 2 years – but only 69 MW of projects are under construction and only 3.5 MW online.

Two projects were recently announced in Chile by First Solar and SunEdison.

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