Colombia considers transmission interconnection with Chile

Colombia is looking to interconnect its electricity grid as far as Chile, Lisa Viscidi of think tank Inter-American Dialogue told Business News Americas.

Viscidi — Inter-American Dialogue's energy, climate change and extractive industries director — recently attended a closed-door event put on by the think tank in Colombia. The event brought together energy sector figures including Colombia mines and energy minister Tomás González.

"González said Colombia has the potential to be a leader in electricity and mentioned the possibility to export to Panama and also to connect with Chile," Viscidi said.

Chile pays high energy prices compared to Colombia and could be a potentially lucrative market. Colombia has already connected to Ecuador and Venezuela and is expected to complete transmission interconnection with Panama by the first quarter of 2018.

On the other hand, interconnection with Chile would require agreements with four different countries, which could prove difficult, he said.

With an eye towards making Colombia a regional electricity exporter, González also spoke of creating more competitive electricity tariffs and tapping the nation's natural gas potential.

During the event some attendees questioned whether Colombia has sufficient natural gas resources to supply its export ambitions, he said.

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