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Chile’s Kimal–Lo Aguirre HVDC line to operationalise by May 2029 [free access]

May 17, 2022

According to Ministerio de Energía Chile or the Chile’s Ministry of Energy, the Kimal–Lo Aguirre high voltage direct current (HVDC) line will commence its operations in May 2029. The bipolar HVDC transmission line, with a capacity of 3,000 MW at ±600 kV, will extend over a length of 1,500 km and requires an investment of USD1.5 billion. It aims to connect the Antofagasta and Metropolitan regions.

 

The Yallique consortium, comprising Chile’s largest transmission firm Transelec Holdings Rentas Limitada, Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA) Inversiones Chile and China Southern Power Grid International (CSG), was awarded the project in December 2021.

 

The line is considered pivotal for Chile to carry out its coal retirement commitments by replacing thermal generation in the country’s central regions with northern region’s renewable capacity.  By strengthening the capacity of the centre-north interconnection, this line will allow more generation projects to connect in the north and transport their output to Chile’s main consumption hubs such as Santiago. The HVDC technology would allow it to reduce transmission and distribution losses incurred across long distances.