Chile’s biggest transmission project to enable transport of energy across 1,500 km

23 Sep 2021

The high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) line will transport energy from the north to the central regions. Tractebel is supporting client ENGIE during the bid preparation phase. 

Chile has set a goal of total withdrawal from the use of coal plants by 2040. To drive this objective, the Chilean National Energy Commission (CEN) proposed the high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) line between Kimal and Lo Aguirre under its annual Transmission Expansion Plan for the national electric system. The project will enable the transport of energy produced at renewable energy sites in northern Chile, which due to current congestion of transmission lines are not being utilized to full capacity. 

Tractebel to oversee bid preparation phase 

We are acting as Owner’s Engineer in a collaboration between our Transmission Energy experts in Chile and Brazil and partner ENGIE Impact to provide the client with full support during the bid preparation phase. Our mandate includes the following services:  

  • Project management services (PMO)
  • Design review and technical assessment services
  • Basic engineering services for the convertor substations
  • Constructability and CAPEX estimation
  • Site activities: topography, meteorology, hydrology and geotechnics

The pre-feasibility analysis began in February 2021 and is estimated to end in September 2021.     

1,500 km of HVDC line to transport renewable energy 

The project entails the construction of a ±600 kV HVDC line of roughly 1,500 km in length between Kimal and Lo Aguirre, with two AC/DC converter substations. AC transmission lines are also foreseen between the new substations and the existing ones in Kimal (220 kV) and Lo Aguirre (500 kV). Construction is expected to start in January 2022 and wrap up by December 2028.    



“The client entrusted us based on our proven expertise with engineering services for transmission line projects, including HVDC lines and substation projects we completed in Brazil. The global collaboration between our teams in Chile and Brazil was essential in securing the mandate. As the project will reduce Chile’s dependence on coal by increasing the transmission of renewable energy, it is fully aligned with our purpose of engineering a carbon-neutral future.”  

Danilo Ambrosio, Business Development Manager    


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