SANTIAGO Oct 5 Chile's Collahuasi mine, one of
the largest copper deposits in the world, told Reuters on
Wednesday it had launched a large power tender and a source said
it had a particular interest in non-conventional renewable
"Collahuasi is carrying out a private request for bids for
1,200 GWh (gigawatt hours) of annual energy and approximately
150 megawatts of power, to be delivered starting in the year
2020," a spokesman wrote in an email to Reuters after two sector
sources said it was holding the auction.
The sources said Collahuasi - a joint venture of Anglo
American Plc and Glencore Plc - will receive
offers until November, and the winners will be revealed next
year. The company is particularly interested in non-conventional
renewable energy, which in Chile refers mainly to solar and wind
power, one of the sources said.
The sources declined to be identified because they were not
authorized to speak to the press about the process.
The tender - considered large by industry standards - is
likely to be watched closely to see if renewable energies can
make significant inroads into Chilean copper mining. Mines in
the world's largest copper producer typically only hold power
auctions a few times per decade, at most.
In a massive public auction in August to supply Chile with
power for two decades from the 2020s, wind and solar companies
won the majority of tendered power.
But copper mining, by far Chile's most important industry,
used such sources for well less than 8 percent of its energy in
2015, according to government copper body Cochilco. Mines on
Chile's northern power grid, one of two grids in the country,
used coal for 76 percent of their power needs in 2015.
With renewable energy prices having largely undercut those
of conventional energy prices in Chile, some observers speculate
copper mines may be willing to turn to solar and wind - despite
concerns about reliability and financing - in order to lower
Among the successful renewable bidders in the public auction
in August were Spanish firms Acciona Energia,
Ibereolica, Cox Energy, and Solarpack, as well as Ireland's
Collahuasi produced 455,300 tonnes of copper in 2015.
(Reporting by Gram Slattery and Fabian Cambero; Editing by
Caroline Stauffer, Bernard Orr)