Chasco Bay-Vallenar Gas Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Chasco Bay-Vallenar Gas Pipeline was a proposed natural gas pipeline in Chile. As of July 2023, the project appears to be shelved.


The proposed pipeline would run from Chasco Bay in Copiapó, Atamaca, Chile to Vallenar, Atamaca, Chile.[1]

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Project Details

  • Operator: Andes SA[2]
  • Parent Company: Shell, Wärtsilä, Mitsui Chile[3][4]
  • Proposed capacity: 10 million cubic meters per day (353.15 million cubic feet per day)[2]
  • Length: 57 miles / 92 km[1][2]
  • Status: Shelved
  • Start Year:
  • Associated infrastructure:


The pipeline was proposed in September 2016 as part of the Andes LNG project in Copiapó, Atacama.[5] The project was to include a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) that would visit Chasco Bay every fifteen days, a terminal, a 2-km submarine pipeline, and another 90 kilometers of pipeline to the proposed Andes Vallenar power station.[1] In June 2019 the project was approved by a vote of 12-0 by the Chilean Environmental Assessment Service.[1]

In February 2021, Chile's Supreme Court ruled that citizen complaints against the pipeline from the municipalities of Copiapó and Caldera had not been adequately considered during the initial environmental review process, leaving the project's future status uncertain.[6][7]

In June 2022, Chile's Committee of Environmental Ministers rejected the Andes LNG project as environmentally unsustainable, presumably putting a definitive end to the project.[8][9] As of July 2023, the project is presumed to be shelved, given its lack of forward movement in more than two years.


The project is opposed by the mayor of Copiapó, Marcos Lopez, and numerous residents on the grounds that it would threaten the local economy, damage the bay ecologically and reduce tourism. Opponents point to the rich biodiversity of Chasco Bay, which is a nesting site for Humboldt penguins, a waystation for migrating Pacific green turtles and four types of whale, and home to large expanses of Marocystis pyrifera (giant bladder kelp) and Zostera chilensis (native Chilean eelgrass). Opponents also cite the potential impact on the many local residents whose livelihood depends on harvesting seaweed and other marine products.[1]

As of August 2022, a variety of environmental groups, including Colectivo en Defensa del Medio Ambiente de Atacama, Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales (OLCA), QARAPARA Tortugas Marinas, and Fundación Geute Conservación Sur continued to oppose development of the project while calling for Chile's environmental ministry to declare Chasco Bay a multi-use protected area.[10]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 La lucha de los habitantes de Bahía Chascos por proteger la biodiversidad del lugar ante proyecto energético, El Mostrador, Jul. 1, 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Decreto 6 OTORGA A ANDES S.A. CONCESIÓN DEFINITIVA DE TRANSPORTE DE GAS DE RED EN LAS COMUNAS DE COPIAPÓ, CALDERA Y VALLENAR, REGIÓN DE ATACAMA". Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional. October 8, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. "Andes LNG: el proyecto de Shell, Mitsui y Wärtsilä en Chile". EnerNews. October 2, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "Chile watchdog approves US$650mn LNG project". BNamericas. May 30, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Proyecto de energía propone gasoducto desde Bahía Chasco hasta Vallenar, Revista Tecnicos Mineros, Sep. 21, 2016
  6. "Corte Suprema ratifica fallo del primer tribunal ambiental por reclamación contra proyecto Andes LNG". Electricidad. February 9, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "MUNICIPIOS PODRÁN HACER OBSERVACIONES AL PROYECTO ANDES LNG EN BAHIA CHASCOS". Revista Minera Crisol. February 12, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "Comité de Ministros rechaza inversiones por casi US$660 millones por potencial daño medioambiental". Guía Chile Energía. June 2022.
  9. "Ministros rechazan proyecto de terminal de gas y termoeléctrico Andes LNG tras acoger reclamaciones comunitarias". OLCA (Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales). June 8, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "Solicitan declarar Bahía Chasco como Área Marina Costera Protegida de Múltiples Usos". Página 19. August 8, 2022.

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External resources

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