Aligning with its 2050 decarbonization goal, Chile’s state-owned Codelco has renewed a clean energy contract with Canada’s Innergex Renewable Energy for its Gabriela Mistral mining division in northern Chile..
The new contract became effective April 1, and will run until the end of 2032.
“This clean energy project allows us to avoid the emission of 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, at the same time that we achieve savings of more than $2 million per year,” said Mauricio Acuna, Codelco’s vice president of Provisioning.
Innergex owns 55% of the Pampa Elvira Solar plant, which supplies thermal energy to Gabriela Mistral for use in copper electrowinning. “The renewal of this agreement guarantees that the facility can continue contributing to Codelco to reduce the use of fossil fuels in its processes for obtaining copper,” said Jaime Pino, vice president and general manager of Innergex Chile.
Pampa Elvira Solar generates heat through solar thermal collectors located on land belonging to the Gabriela Mistral division in the Antofagasta Region. With the capacity to supply more than 40,000 MWh/year, it has made it possible to replace approximately 60% of the fossil fuel used in the electrowinning process.
“The purchase of heat produced through a zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission system – which offers a stable agreed price and lower than that of fossil fuels – is the equation that we are looking for at Codelco to accelerate our energy transition,” said Francisco Danitz, corporate manager of Energy and Water Management at Codelco.
Codelco is the world’s largest copper producer. It operates in seven mining divisions in Chile: Chuquicamanta, Radomiro Tomic, Ministro Hales, Gabriela Mistral, Salvador, Andina and El Lieutenant.