Costa in Chile to expand renewable energy in second-largest lithium producer

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Since the trip to Chile in 2017, the investment stock has more than doubled, from 184 million euros to 421 million euros in December 2022 in the renewable and digital sectors.

The Prime Minister’s trip to Chile, between Sunday and Monday, to participate in the 50th anniversary of the military coup in that country, also includes an economic dimension with the aim of expanding business, especially in renewable energies.

On this, his second visit to Chile – the first was in June 2017 -, António Costa will have a meeting at the end of Sunday morning with Portuguese businessmen investing in the Chilean market, mainly linked to the areas of energy, construction, agri-food, insurance and consultancy.

According to the executive’s source, representatives from companies such as Atlas MGA (insurance company), Berd (construction of model bridges), Catari (construction), EDP Renováveis, Efacec, Fidelidade (insurance), Procesl/Quadrante (engineering and consultancy) will be present at the meeting. ), Readiness IT (computer consultancy), REN, Sogrape (wines, Sovena (olive oil), Sugal (tomato concentrate agribusiness) and transitex (logistics).

According to data provided by the Portuguese Government, Chile is the second destination for Portuguese direct investment in Latin America and the Caribbean, after Brazil.

Since the trip to Chile in 2017, according to the same source, the investment stock has more than doubled, rising from 184 million euros to 421 million euros in December 2022, highlighting companies with national capital in the renewable and agri-food sectors and digital. There are currently around 40 Portuguese companies with a direct presence in the Chilean market .

In terms of economic sectors, the Portuguese executive places renewable energy among his main priorities, as Chile is currently the second largest producer of lithium, with around 39,000 metric tons in 2022. Its reserves are considered the largest in the world , with 9.3 million metric tons .

“Due to its size, geography and availability of natural resources, Chile has a high potential for renewable energy, with emphasis on photovoltaic, wind, biomass and geothermal. Chile has set the objective of producing 20% ​​of its energy from non-hydro sources by 2025 and reaching 70% by 2050”, notes a source from the Lisbon executive.

In particular in wind and solar, Portuguese-owned companies EDP Renováveis, CJR Renewables, Efacec and NS Construcciones currently have a portfolio of projects in execution exceeding 200 million euros, employing more than 200 qualified workers and technicians .

For the Portuguese Government, “Chile’s high wind and solar potential makes this country position itself as a relevant global actor in the export of green hydrogen”.

The economic component, moreover, occupied a substantial part of António Costa’s program on his first official visit to Chile in 2017.

At an economic seminar in Santiago de Chile, the Prime Minister left a message for Chilean investors, telling them that producing in Portugal “ is producing in the European Union market ”.

During this visit, he also highlighted the strengthening of cooperation with Chile in the areas of preventing and combating forest fires and referred to the “eternal debt of gratitude” resulting from the death in Portugal of seven Chilean firefighters.

Chile has already lost seven of its children helping Portugal fight fires. Two firefighters died in 2003 and five others in 2006. This is a debt that we will have forever, as a gesture of great solidarity from the Chilean people towards us,” he declared.

This year, Portugal was involved in responding to Chile’s request for help to fight the forest fires that ravaged the country – more than 250 fires that consumed 430,000 hectares and caused 26 deaths.

According to a national diplomatic source, the solidarity expressed by Portugal “was recognized by the President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, at the last Ibero-American Summit”.

Portugal’s support consisted of sending 144 elements from the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, the Special Civil Protection Force, the National Republican Guard, the Institute for Nature Conservation and the Fire Brigades, in coordination with the European Mechanism of Civil Protection.

Source: Obser Vador