Kelar power station

From Global Energy Monitor


The Kelar power station is a 517-megawatt (MW) gas-fired combined cycle power station in Mejillones, northern Chile.


The satellite photo below shows the plant's exact location in Mejillones (Antofagasta region), Chile.

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BHP obtained approval for the plant in 2007, but then suspended the project. In 2012 BHP resubmitted its plans for the $400-million project, as the previously approved plant was coal-fired and BHP now aimed to use natural gas.[1] The new gas-fired plant, to be constructed by Samsung Engineering, was to get its fuel from the Mejillones LNG terminal and supply electricity to the Escondida and Spence copper mines operated by BHP's mining subsidiary BHP Billiton Chile. BHP expected the plant to come online in 2016.[2][3][4][5]

In September 2014, BHP Billiton confirmed that Kelar was under construction as a gas-fired plant, saying "with our Korean partner, Samsung and KOSPO, we have formally begun construction of the Kelar gas-fired power plant in Chile and our decision to power this plant with liquefied natural gas instead of coal will help to meet local energy needs while mitigating up to 1.5 million tons of C02 emissions each year."[6]

The plant began commercial operations in December 2016[4] and was officially inaugurated by Chilean president Michelle Bachelet in May 2017.[5]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: BHP Billiton
  • Parent company:
  • Location: Mejillones, II region, Chile
  • Coordinates: -23.035092, -70.339933 (exact)
  • Gross Capacity (operating):
    • Unit 1: gas-fired combined cycle, 517 MW, start year 2016[4]

Articles and resources


  1. "BHP submits 540 MW gas plant plan for Chile environmental OK," Reuters, Nov 20, 2012.
  2. "BHP adjudica contrato energético de proyecto Kelar a consorcio coreano,", La Tercera Negocios, November 29, 2013.
  3. "Samsung Engineering Enters Chile With Power Plant Award,", Samsung Village, January 23, 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Central a gas Kelar inició operación comercial en Mejillones". BioBioChile. 2017-01-06.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "BHP inauguró la central Kelar en Mejillones". EnerNews. May 29, 2017.
  6. "Transcript of Environmental, Social and Governance briefing, pp 5-6", BHP Billiton, September 25, 2014.

Related articles

External resources