Korea Southern Power Co. (KOSPO) has become the first Korean power company to tap the South American independent power plant (IPP) market as the power company dedicated the Kelar Gas-fired Combined Cycle Power Plant in Chile.
About 200 people participated in a ceremony to dedicate the 517MW gas-fired combined power plant in Mejillones, northern Chile, on May. 26. Among those on hand at the event were Chilean President Michelle Bachelet; Chilean Energy Minister Andrees Rebolledo Smitmans; KOSPO President Yoon Jong-geun; Samsung C&T President Kim Shin; and Korean Ambassador To Chile Chung In-kyun.
The Kelar Gas-fired Combined Cycle Power Plant is a Build, Own, Operate and Maintain (BOOM) project, being implemented with an equity investment by KOSPO and Samsung C&T at a ratio of 65 percent: 35 percent. Samsung C&T is in charge of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), while the project is financed by Export-Import Bank of Korea.
Liquefied natural gas will be supplied to the plant under a contract by a Chilean company operated by BHP Billiton, which will purchase all electricity being generated by the plant. KOSPO is expected to earn an annual average of about 92 billion won in revenues from the project.
The project is an example of collaboration between a Korean public entity and a Korean company to tap an overseas power plant market.
Despite the difficult construction conditions, the Kelar Gas-fired Combined Cycle Power Plant was successfully dedicated. It is also noteworthy that Korea takes a first step to tap the South American power plant market, which is currently dominated by U.S. and other global companies.
Starting with the introduction of the Kelar Gas-fired Combined Cycle Power Plant delegates including Chilean President Michelle Bachelet; Chilean Energy Minister Andres Rebolledo Smitmans and KOSPO President Yoon, each delivered commemorative speeches, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the dedication of a stone in honor of persons who contributed to the construction of the plant.
In his speech at the dedication ceremony, KOSPO President Yoon said, “It takes on a great significance that with the dedication of the Kelar Gas-fired Combined Cycle Power Plant, (we) have succeeded in establishing a foothold in the South American power market.” KOSPO aims to raise 500 billion won in overseas revenues by 2030 and rise to a global top 10 power company by concentrating its capabilities to explore emerging markets with a high growth potential and new and renewable energy exports by making the most of its world’s top power generation technologies, he said.
Meanwhile, KOSPO is accelerating efforts to explore follow-up photovoltaic power projects by making the most of the experiences and expertise the power company has accumulated in the process of winning the Kelar project. The Korean power company strives to realize so-called “Latin America Energy Dream” by seizing up Chile as a foothold to tap the South American power market.
Dignitaries cut a ribbon in a ceremony to dedicate the 517MW gas-fired combined power plant in Mejillones, northern Chile, on May. 26. (Photos: KOSPO)