Alstom has won an order from Transmisión Eléctrica del Norte (TEN), a subsidiary of E-CL, an electricity company based in Chile and part of the Engie Group, to supply four turnkey substations for Chile’s first interconnection system, the Mejillones – Cardones transmission line. The contract, worth approximately €260 million (US$ 278 million), includes the installation of three new 500 kV substations in Chacayita, Los Changos and Cumbres, as well as the expansion of the Nueva Cardones substation. The project, due to be completed in 2017, will create a country-wide 580 km super electric highway interconnection system bringing together the two existing highways – the Central Interconnected System (SIC) and the Interconnected System of Norte Grande (SING). This interconnection project is being led by the Chilean Energy Ministry as part of an overall plan to develop sustainable power supply.

The SIC – covering central Chile – transmits almost 70% of the country electricity generation and serves over 90% of Chile’s 18m population. SING serves northern Chile, which generates a further 20% of the country’s electricity with plans to produce more in the future.

Alstom will supply its air-insulated and gas-insulated substations to contribute to a total of 1500 MW of energy transmission, and will also provide and install its high voltage power compensation products to improve the power quality of the lines. All equipment will be manufactured in Alstom’s manufacturing facilities in Brazil, China, Finland and France, with a local dedicated project team at the site in Chile.

Chile is experiencing a rapid growth in energy demand of 4.5% p.a. and this interconnection line will address growing energy needs particularly in central and southern Chile where the population is most dense. Surplus energy will be channelled from the north to the centre and vice versa, reducing Chile’s overall energy bill.