Andina-Hornitos power station

From Global Energy Monitor


The Andina-Hornitos power station is a 355-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Mejillones, Antofagasta, Chile.[1]


The photo shows the project in Mejillones, Antofagasta, Chile.

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The two-unit, US$900 million Andina-Hornitos plant, which supplies power primarily to the Esperanza and Gaby mines in Chile's II Region, began operating in 2011-2012.[2]

In mid-2017, plant owner Engie enlisted Citibank's help in seeking a buyer for the Andina-Hornitos plant, in accordance with the company's move to a more renewable energy portfolio.[3]


The plants' proximity to the community of Mejillones has made them highly controversial, prompting fears of rising cancer rates and provoking public protests.[2][4]

Planned Phase-out

In February 2018 Chilean president Michelle Bachelet announced that Chile would phase out coal-fired plants,[5] and Engie announced that it would close its coal-fired plants in Chile, Andina-Hornitos among them.[6] Engie had previously announced that it would try to sell the plants to new operators instead of closing them.[6]

In June 2019, Chilean president Sebastián Piñera released a plan drafted by the Chilean Ministry of Energy detailing the decommissioning schedule for all Chilean coal-fired plants. According to the plan, Andina-Hornitos power station will cease operations no later than 2040, and plant owner Engie agrees to consult with the government every five years to renew details of the plan, subject to management and shareholder approval, Engie's legal obligations to meet environmental targets and supply contracted levels of power, and other criteria.[1][7]

In April 2021, Engie released a company statement confirming that the Andina-Hornitos plant would be converted to run on biomass by 2025.[8][9][10][11] In March 2022, Chile's environmental authority SEA approved the plant's conversion to run 100% on biomass.[12] The conversion was expected to cost US $12 million, with transition work beginning in October 2022.[13] Plans called for the power station to adapt its existing port-to-plant conveyor belt system to accommodate biomass instead of coal.[14]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Engie Energía Chile S.A.[7] (formerly E-CL)
  • Parent company: Engie[7](formerly GDF Suez)
  • Location: Mejillones, Antofagasta, Chile
  • Coordinates: -23.0877066, -70.4074717 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross Capacity:
    • Unit 1 (Andina): 177MW[1]
    • Unit 2 (Hornitos): 178MW[1]
  • Type: Circulating fluidized bed
  • In service: 2011[2]
  • Coal Type: Bituminous
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Plan de Descarbonización y Retiro de Centrales Termoeléctricas a Carbón en Chile, Anuncio del gobierno de Sebastián Piñera" (PDF). Chile Sustentable. June 4, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Las temidas termoeléctricas cancerígenas ya están operando en Mejillones ,", El Diario de Antofagasta, December 1, 2011.
  3. "Engie ficha a Citi para vender termoeléctricas en la II Región. Ofertas se presentan en julio,", Pulso, June 23, 2017.
  4. "Con barricadas protestan contra las termoeléctricas y la contaminación en Mejillones,", El Diario de Antofagasta, December 22, 2011.
  5. Chile declares start of coal power phase-out, Climate Change News, Feb. 1, 2018
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ahora sí: Trasnacional ENGIE cerraría termoeléctricas Tocopilla, Andina y Hornitos, El Ciudadano, Mar. 29, 2018
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "ENGIE Energía Chile firma acuerdo de retiro de centrales termoeléctricas a carbón con ministerio energía". Engie. 2019-06-04.
  8. "Engie anuncia el desarrollo de cartera de energías renovables por cerca de 2.000 MW y una salida total del carbón para 2025". Engie. April 29, 2021.
  9. "Gobierno anuncia el retiro del 50% de las centrales a carbón al 2025". Ministerio del Medio Ambiente (in español). April 28, 2021.
  10. "Chile speeds up plans to close coal plants, to retire half its fleet by 2025". S&P Global Platts. April 28, 2021.
  11. "Tras anuncio de Engie de salida total del carbón para 2025, ambientalistas apuntan a Aes Gener y Colbún". El Mostrador. April 28, 2021.
  12. "Reporte de proyectos en Construcción e Inversión en el Sector Energía mes de marzo de 2022 - Tabla 6. Centrales de generación aprobadas. Mes de marzo de 2022 (p 30)" (PDF). Ministerio de Energía. March 2022. line feed character in |title= at position 49 (help)
  13. "Antofagasta: Engie ingresa proyecto a calificación ambiental que busca reemplazar el uso de carbón por biomasa". Electricidad. August 4, 2021.
  14. "Engie: aprobación ambiental: Antofagasta: reconversión". Revista Electricidad. April 6, 2022.

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