On May 26, Samsung C&T’s Trading and Investment group CEO, Shin Kim, and KOPSO(Korean Southern Power Co., Ltd) CEO, Jong-geun Yoon attended an opening ceremony to celebrate the successful completion the 517 MW Kelar gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Chile. The CEOs were honored by the attendance of some 200 distinguished guests, including the president of Chile Michelle Bachelet, the Minister of Energy Andres Rebolledo Smitmans, the Minister of Mining Aurora Williams, the Governor of the Antofagasta Region Arturo Molina, and the Korean ambassador to Chile In-Gyun Jung.
Kelar power plant was constructed in the Mejillones region located in the port city of Antofagasta, Northern Chile. Electricity generated by the plant will supply power to BHP Billiton’s copper mines in the region, including the giant Escondida project, the world’s largest by production. Additionally, the plant is expected to replace coal-based power generation in Chile, offsetting up to 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions per year.
The official opening ceremony for the Kelar project marks an important milestone for the Trading group’s operations in Latin America, and builds upon the successful completion of the Manzanillo LNG Terminal and Norte II gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Mexico.
The construction of the Kelar power plant is quite notable as it marks the first private power plant constructed and operated by Korean companies in Chile, a market previously dominated by Japanese and US-based construction firms. Samsung C&T has created a strong foothold in Latin America and represents a stepping stone for other Korean companies in the power generation and plant businesses.
Moreover, the project is an exemplary collaboration of public and private business, showcasing the potential for future collaborations of the sort for C&T and other Korean companies abroad.