ALTO MAIPO Hydroelectric Project (PHAM), Chile

Description
"ALTO MAIPO Hydroelectric Project" (PHAM) of AES GENER and Luksic group is intended to channel the water of the main river that supplies water to the Capital city of Chile, Santiago. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed a $195 million loan agreement with Alto Maipo Spa, owned by AES Gener (60 percent) and Antofagasta Minerals (40 percent), as part of a financing package of more than $1.2 billion for the Alto Maipo Hydroelectric Project. The project is cofinanced by the International Finance Corporation, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation and six commercial banks. The total project cost will be roughly $2 billion, 60 percent in the form of debt and the remaining 40 percent in equity.
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Basic Data
NameALTO MAIPO Hydroelectric Project (PHAM), Chile
CountryChile
ProvinceProvincia Cordillera, Región Metropolitana
SiteCajon del Maipo (High Maipo River Watershed), Comuna de San José de Maipo, Santiago.
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Water access rights and entitlements
Specific CommoditiesLand
Electricity
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe associated infrastructure involves (among others): 2 run-of-the-river centrals; 70 km of an abduction tunnel of 6-8 mt. in diameter; 4 water intakes; several siphons; one electrical substation; power transmission lines; charging cameras; 14 marine stockpile sites; use of trains, Tolva lorries, TBM machines, etc., etc. The installed project capacity is 530 MW but the actual power generation capacity is 160 MW. This energy will go integrally to Minera Los Pelambres (Luksic group) in the north of Chile.
Level of Investment (in USD)900,000,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population7,000,000
Start Date06/05/2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesANTOFAGASTA MINERALS (Grupo Luksic) from Chile
International and Financial InstitutionsOverseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) from United States of America
Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
Corporación financiera internacional,
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCoordinadora Ciudadana Ríos del Maipo, Ecosistemas, Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales (OLCA) www.olca.cl, Greenpeace
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Women
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationAppeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Development of a network/collective action
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Media based activism/alternative media
Shareholder/financial activism.
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Strikes
Official complaint letters and petitions
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
OtherGlacier melting acceleration; affectation to priority sites for biodiversity conservation and natural monuments.
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Deaths, Other Health impacts
Otherincreased heat stress
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood
Otherloss of local economy based on tourism due to degradation of landscape and of the river.
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseLand demarcation
Court decision (undecided)
Repression
Withdrawal of company/investment
In 2011, a commission of inquiry of the Chamber of Deputies determined that the project was approved with irregularities, but nothing happened and now is starting to be built
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.In 2011, a commission of inquiry of the Chamber of Deputies determined that the project was approved with irregularities, but nothing happened and now is starting to be built. The use of water for energy for mining projects is above (more important) than the human and animal right to water. Local communities and territory are impacted and the benefits fly to other parts of the country.
Sources and Materials
References

“Dams and Markets: Rivers and Electric Power in Chile”, Natural Resources Journal VOL 49 Summer-Fall 2009“, por Carl J. Bauer, profesor asociado de la Escuela de Geografía y Desarrollo de la Universidad de Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (see attachment)

“Searching for a Miracle – ‘Net Energy’ Limits & the Fate of Industrial Society” por Richard Heinberg, International Forum on Globalization and the Post Carbon Institute, False Solutions Series # 4, September 2009
[click to view]

Links

Funpage No AltoMaipo
[click to view]

Twitter No AltoMaipo
[click to view]

Mobilization news
[click to view]

Mobilization news
[click to view]

Official web page of the conflict
[click to view]

IADB website
[click to view]

El Ciudadano "Alto Maipo: Si el río suena… represas trae"
[click to view]

Radio UChile
[click to view]

IPS
[click to view]

El Desconcierto, "El agua de Santiago en Riesgo… AltoMaipo y el fin del Cajón"
Por Tomás González, Miembro de la Coordinadora Ciudadana Ríos del Maipo
[click to view]

Radio UChile, "Las Aguas del Maipo son un tesoro", por Juan Pablo Orrego
[click to view]

Media Links

Official video: Voces por los ríos libres.NO Alto Maipo
[click to view]

Other Documents

Map of the project Credits: http://www.riosdelmaipo.cl/el-proyecto-alto-maipo/
[click to view]

“Dams and Markets: Rivers and Electric Power in Chile”
[click to view]

Meta Information
Last update03/05/2014
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