Category: Chilean Patagonia

Chile’s environmentally fragile and unique Patagonia region is one of the world’s last areas of wilderness to have remained largely untouched by the ravaging development of modern industry. Because of a proposed plan to build five large hydroelectric dams on Patagonian rivers that would also require building the world’s longest power transmission corridor to connect the dams to Chile’s power markets in the north, the region’s delicate ecology is facing a very serious threat.

Chile’s Bachelet says Patagonia dams not viable

(June 26, 2013) Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, who hopes to regain power at election time later this year, has come out against Chile’s HidroAysén mega-dam scheme. Most Chileans also oppose the controversial plan that would flood globally rare forest ecosystems, river valleys and farmlands in the country’s southern Aysén region and tame two of the world’s wildest rivers. In a complete about-face from her stance as President, Bachelet openly declared her opposition to the five planned dams in Patagonia in a televised debate.

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A respite for Patagonia

(July 4, 2012) Chile’s HidroAysén mega-dam scheme is suddenly on hold as one of the owners of the controversial dam scheme suspends its support for the risky project.

Clear water, big fish

(December 12, 2009) Twenty-three hundred kilometres of transmission lines, to be built by Transelec Chile SA (investors include the CPP Investment Board, the British Columbia Investment Management Corp. and Toronto conglomerate Brookfield Asset Management Inc.), would require the world’s longest clear-cut up through the heart of Patagonia’s untouched temperate forests.

Canadians funding destruction of Patagonia forests

(December 9, 2009) A recent article in Pique highlights concerns about the involvement of the Canadian-owned company Transelec in a hydro electric project in Chile’s Patagonia region. The project, which plans to build five dams and 2,300 km of transmission lines with a parallel highway that would pass through 14 legally protected natural areas, has been criticized by environmentalists in the country and around the world, as well as business leaders.