Chile's Energia Austral delays hydro EIA to early next year

Energia Austral has announced its decision to put on hold the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of its 640 MW Cuervo hydroelectric project until February 2013 to conduct a soil study as required by Chile’s Supreme Court.

According to local daily El Mercurio, the soil study will take approximately ten months to conduct, citing unnamed sources close to Energia Austral.

The project was originally approved in the spring of this year, but the Supreme Court ordered the environmental authorities to review the project based on results from a soil study.

Austral’s decision means that construction will now start in 2016, representing a delay of a year, the newspaper confirmed.

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