Coal to the Rescue in Chile

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Chile was a country with a heavy reliance on hydropower and gas fired combined cycle. However, a crisis in the supply of gas to Chile forced many of the gas fired plants to swap to expensive imported oil as replacement fuel. The long term solution for base load power is the development of coal fired power stations and more hydropower.

GHD’s Santiago office is playing a major role in the development of new power projects in Chile and nearby Peru with significant roles in environmental permitting and project development. One of these roles is Owner’s Engineer to Colbun for the development of a 350MW coal fired power station.

For Colbun, GHD’s role includes; specification preparation, tender assessment, project management, contract administration, design review and construction supervision. A team of people has been dedicated to the task for the 4 year duration of the project.

GHD hosted a visit to Australia by a delegation of Colbun executives to view coal fired power stations and discuss coal contracts with Australian mining companies. GHD’s Australian power and coal mining clients were pleased to share their knowledge with the Chileans.

GHD’s success continues in Chile with a second Colbun project under development and other power project proponents have engaged GHD to assist in the development of their coal fired projects. GHD is also providing maintenance and trouble shooting advice to some of the combined cycle plants.

Numerous other service lines have been involved in the Colbun project including; Environmental for advice on permitting, Materials Handling, for coal offloading and delivery, Marine, for advice on the seawater cooling systems and Mining for advice on international coal pricing, qualities and shipping arrangements.



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Power Generation


We cover technologies from conventional fossil fuel firing in thermal power plants (e.g. sub-critical and supercritical coal-fired plants, coal seam methane and natural gas fired gas turbines, combined cycle power plant and cogeneration) to emerging technologies such as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and polygeneration (combined power, heat and chemicals).

Our teams can engage with you at all levels and stages of project delivery – from concept design and feasibility studies through to all aspects of asset management.

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