An accident took place on Wednesday last week at the Cerro Dominador plant in Chile, Latin America's first solar thermal plant. Four workers from a plant’s subcontractor suffered burns as a result of exposure to high-temperature water, caused by a leak in the equipment they were inspecting.
Two of the workers were transferred to intensive care units, while the other two are receiving hospital care, Cerro Dominador said in a social media post. It announced that “work at the plant has been immediately suspended to review and reconfirm the safety and health procedures for workers.” The incident is being investigated by the local authorities.
In the same communication, Cerro Dominador denies that there has been an “explosion” at the plant, a clarification they claim to make “due to the disclosure of some erroneous information.”
The solar thermal plant was inaugurated in June last year, after construction began in 2014. It has a capacity of 110 MW and 17.5 hours of thermal storage.
The construction of the project, owned by EIG Global Energy Partners, was carried out by a consortium of Spanish companies Acciona and Abengoa. The 700-hectare solar field has 10,600 heliostats that direct solar radiation to a receiver located 252 meters above the ground. The nearby photovoltaic plant has a capacity of 100 MW and has been in commercial operation since February 2018. The renewable energy complex is the first to combine both technologies in the world.
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