Sierra Gorda, Eiffage Energía’s latest project in Chile

In its relentless expansion process through the countries of Latin America, Eiffage Energía has Chile as a great ally in some of the most important projects undertaken by the group to date. This country, which is currently experiencing an unprecedented boom in renewable energy, has the distinction of having the highest capacity in the world for using solar energy, with an estimated radiation between 7 to 7.5 kWh/m2.

These unique circumstances have made that, since the company landed on the Latin American market, the Chilean soil has been the scene of works such as the construction of the solar plant in San Andrés or the Javiera photovoltaic park, as well as the ongoing project of the Quilapilún photovoltaic plant, one of the largest plants in Latin America and which has a budget of 34 million dollars.

The fruitful relationship between Eiffage Energía and Chile is now beginning a new stage thanks to the Sierra Gorda wind farm EPC electricity project, signed by the company Enel Green Power (EGP) in Chile and that plans the construction of a booster 33/220 kV substation, and a 1 x 220 kV high voltage power line of 40 km in the town of Sierra Gorda (province and Region II of Antofagasta), an area surrounded by the Atacama desert, one of the driest in the world.

The project has a budget of more than 13 million euros and will be completed by August 2016. It will cover an area of 85 hectares and will house a substation of 17,000 m2 with 3 buildings, one for maintenance staff, who will have accommodation with all the amenities, also a tank for drinking water tank and a water treatment plant, which will allow reusing water for irrigation and road wetting.

It is also important to highlight the huge effort in logistics and coordination  which makes possible the implementation of this EPC electricity project, as EGP says: “its star project”. Involved in it are Eiffage Energía and two of its subsidiaries, which are working together and using all their resources: Eiffage Energía Chile and Conscytec.

As is the norm in all the projects taken on by Eiffage Energía, Sierra Gorda is being conducted under all the premises of quality and safety, probably following the strictest mining standards in the world. On the other hand, in its implementation the company is paying particular attention to the values of sustainability, which is why, throughout the project, each and every one of the resource use indicators are being monitored, both on the work site and in the supply chain, with the aim of making it a Zero Footprint Project.

Along these lines, the CO2 emissions, consumption of drinking and industrial water, the flora and fauna and archaeology of the terrain, will be monitored. It is also working with the indigenous community and making arrangements for the local supply of materials and services. Eiffage Energía is also assessing the local resources with which it could collaborate by providing resources and training for the implementation of eco-sustainable construction activities, or by helping in the development of SMEs and mini-SMEs.

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