ENGIE announces €1.5 billion strategy to decarbonise Chilean grid

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French multinational electric utility company ENGIE has announced its plan to invest €1.5 billion ($1.8 billion) to decarbonise its business in Chile.

In a virtual meeting with Sebastian Piñera the president of Chile, Catherine MacGregor the CEO of ENGIE presented the company’s energy and business transformation strategy which includes expanding the company’s renewables portfolio and retiring fossil-fueled energy generation.

The utility announced that it will retire its entire coal portfolio in Chile by 2025 as the utility moves towards its 2050 carbon-neutrality target. The energy firm’s portfolio of coal-fired generation facilities amounts to almost 1.5GW.

MacGregor reaffirmed the utility’s commitment of closing six units (0.8GW) of coal capacity, including two facilities already closed in 2019, and the conversion of the three newest units (0.7GW) to gas or biomass by 2025.

The plan is expected to help ENGIE to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from energy production activities in Chile by 2026.

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To ensure the reliability of its energy network as the company retires its coal fleet, ENGIE will:

  • Develop a 2GW renewable energy portfolio including 1GW newly announced in addition to 1GW committed at the end of 2019. To date, 0.6GW is already under construction
  • Develop green hydrogen production facilities. ENGIE has developed three hydrogen pilot projects including, HyEx, in collaboration with Enaex to develop green ammonia; Hydra, to promote truck mobility in the mining sector; and an initiative with Walmart that will involve the use of 149 cranes powered by green hydrogen.

Catherine MacGregor, ENGIE CEO, said: “We are committed to taking action to accelerate the transition to carbon neutrality. Our collaboration with the Chilean government puts us at the forefront of supporting the country’s decarbonisation. The total exit from coal and the promotion of renewable energies, including green hydrogen, demonstrate our commitment to contribute to Chile’s sustainable development. “