Antofagasta Minerals sells stake in 69.5 MW PV plant in Chile

The Chilean mining company Antofagasta Minerals announced it has sold its 40% interest in the Javiera solar plant located in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile. The company owned the 40% stake of the installation through EnergíaAndina, a joint venture with Australia-based Origin Energy.

The company’s interest in the project was sold to Atlas Renewable Energy, a unit of the British fund Actis, for an undisclosed sum. Antofagasta Minerals said that the conditions of the 20-year PPA that the project has with its copper mine Minera Los Pelambres, which is located in the region of Coquimbo, were renegotiated, and that the price at which the mine will buy power from the plant is now lower. This, the company stressed, also depended on the recent conditions of the Chilean energy market, which has seen a strong price reduction over the past years.

The Javiera PV plant, which is located in Taltal, Antofagasta, started operations in 2015. The installation, which is connected to the Antofagasta Minerals’ copper mine through the Central Interconnected System, covers around 14% of the power needs of the facility.

The project was completed by the U.S. company SunEdison in 2015. Nextracker provided the solar trackers for the plant. The PPA for the project was signed by SunEdison and Antofagasta Minerals in September 2014. At the time, the two companies did not provide details about the price at which the installation sells power to the mine.

The Javiera PV project was financed by the Chilean financial services provider CorpBanca and the Spanish bank BBVA with $130 million.

Furthermore, Antofagasta Minerals announced it will soon issue a tender to contract a power producer for its copper mine Minera Zaldívar, without providing further details. The company stressed, however, it intends to take advantage of the current situation of the Chilean energy market and its very low power prices.