Angamos power station
|This article is part of the Global Energy Monitor coverage of Chile and coal|
Angamos power station is a 558-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Mejillones, Antofagasta, Chile.
The map below shows the plant, which is located in Mejillones' industrial zone.
Construction began in 2008 for this US$1.3 billion plant, which serves the world's largest copper mine (Escondida). The plant, the first significant addition to northern Chile's SING (Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande) power grid in the past decade, was completed ahead of schedule, with Unit 1 going online in April 2011 and Unit 2 following six months later. It received widespread recognition within the industry for its modern design, including an advanced air quality control system and seawater cooling towers that were the first of their kind in South America. In 2012, the Angamos facility won Power Magazine's "Plant of the Year" award and the international EEI Edison award.
In mid-2016, the Chilean environmental agency SMA (Superintendencia del Medio Ambiente) charged the Angamos plant with several infractions of environmental regulations, including excessive emissions of pollutants in 2015.
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, Angamos power station will cease operations no later than 2040, though the specific decommissioning date is yet to be determined. AES Gener agrees to consult with the government every five years to renew details of the plan, taking into account system stability requirements, energy costs, and environmental goals.
AES Gener's 2019 annual report listed a contract expiration date of 2026 to 2037 for its Angamos units, and Chile's Ministry of Energy did not include the Angamos power station in its list of plants to be disconnected in 2019-2024.
In August 2020, AES Gener signed a US $840.1 million deal with the multinational BHP Group, allowing for the early termination of power purchase agreements with BHP's Chilean copper mines and processing plants, which are switching to cheaper renewables. BHP had been scheduled to purchase power from the Angamos coal plant through 2029, but now will discontinue its energy purchases from AES Gener effective August 8, 2021. AES Gener announced that it would continue to sell power from the Angamos plant on the spot market as long as necessary to stabilise Chile's grid, with an eye to closing the plant thereafter. In the meantime, AES Gener will invest US$200 million from the BHP deal in new renewables capacity.
In September 2020, AES Gener confirmed that it has no future energy supply contracts planned for the Angamos plant, that the plant will no longer be considered one of its strategic assets, and that the company intends to phase out operations at units 1 and 2 as soon as demand and system security allow.
- Sponsor: AES Gener (Empresa Eléctrica Angamos SpA)
- Parent company: AES
- Location: Mejillones, Antofagasta, Chile
- Coordinates: -23.0662683, -70.3701192 (exact)
- Unit 1: Operating
- Unit 2: Operating
- Gross Capacity: 558 MW
- Type: Subcritical
- In service: 2011
- Coal Type: Bituminous, Subbituminous
- Coal Source:
- Source of financing: Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (US$677 million)
Articles and resources
- "2019 Annual Report (page 23)" (PDF). AES Gener. March 1, 2019.
- "AES Gener launches construction at Angamos coal-fired plant,", BNAmericas, August 27, 2008.
- "AES Gener concreta entrada en operación comercial de unidad II de termoeléctrica Angamos,", Emol Economía, October 14, 2011.
- "Plant of the Year: AES Gener’s Angamos Power Plant Earns POWER’s Highest Honor,", Power Magazine, August 1, 2012.
- "AES Gener Wins International EEI Edison Award,", PR Newswire, June 4, 2012.
- "SMA formula cargos en contra de Central Termoeléctrica Angamos de Mejillonesd,", SMA, June 28, 2016.
- "Plan de Descarbonización y Retiro de Centrales Termoeléctricas a Carbón en Chile, Anuncio del gobierno de Sebastián Piñera" (PDF). Chile Sustentable. June 4, 2019.
- "3Q-2020 Earnings Report (p 13)" (PDF). Empresa Eléctrica Angamos SpA. December 2020.
- "BHP's Chilean mines to terminate coal PPAs with AES Gener". Renewables Now. August 10, 2020.
- "BNamericas - AES Gener, mining firms sign US$720mn termination of coal-fired PPAs". BNamericas. August 10, 2020.
- "Descarbonización: AES Gener anuncia que unidades de Angamos quedarán sin contratos". Electricidad. September 29, 2020.
- Joojin Kim and Soyoung Lee, “Financing Dirty Energy: How Korean Public Financial Institutions Support Coal Power,” SFOC, Jan 2018