The first of the nine turbine-generator projects is already underway at the 264 MW Nueva Tocopilla gas-fired plant in the Antofagasta region.
GE’s multi-year contract is with power company AES Gener, which operates a total of 4 GW of installed capacity in Chile, comprising thermal, hydroelectric and solar plants.
AES Gener chief executive Javier Giorgio said it was vital to “keep reliable maintenance procedures for our thermal power plants to help address the country’s energy demands”. Chile’s electricity demand is increasing at about 3.5 per cent annually.
Ramon Paramio, general manager of GE’s Power Services in Latin America, said: “While part of Chile’s additional generation capacity will come from increased renewable energy production, the nation’s utilities also are making significant investments to increase the output and efficiency of their existing thermal power stations to help meet the country’s growing demands for cleaner, more affordable electricity.”
Of the nine steam turbines involved in the contract, only one is from GE – the remainder are from other manufacturers.