A decision by the Chilean Supreme Court on whether the construction of the 740 MW Punta Alcalde thermoelectric project can proceed is expected very soon.

If built, the sub-bituminous coal-fired plant would add much needed capacity to the country’s electric production, but it has faced stiff opposition.

Local newspaper El Mercurio warned that if the project is not approved Chile’s energy supply could be seriously impacted over the next ten years.

However, this is a long-running saga.

In December 2012 the Committee of Ministers approved the construction of Punta Alcalde, reversing the decision of the Department of Environmental Assessment, which had rejected its development. The Court of Appeals then reversed that approval and appealed to the Supreme Council

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