This is as part of a commitment to maintain the company's record in Latin America for Clean Tech energy generation.
Together with its wholly owned subsidiary, Independent Power Corporation ("IPC"), Rurelec has pioneered the use of Clean Tech power conversion as a means of obtaining United Nations recognition for carbon emission reductions (CERs).
It acquired its initial 50% stake in Termoelectrica del Norte, ("Termonor"), the local Chilean project company, last year at a time when the Parinacota Project in Arica was designed around diesel engines. Earlier this year Rurelec increased its holding to 100% and switched the project design to be based on General Electric 6B gas turbine technology, as installed at its Energia del Sur plant in Patagonia, Argentina.
Now Rurelec is proposing to upgrade the Parinacota power plant to enable it to run on LPG immediately upon commissioning as a Clean Tech plant with a possible later switch to LNG as that fuel becomes available. A final feasibility study is now being conducted but it is expected that this will confirm the decision to switch to LPG before construction starts at the end of next month. Commercial operation is due in the middle of 2014.
The company is also considering the development of an additional 10 MW of photovoltaic solar power generation in Arica to complement the Parinacota plant, which is presently designed to run only at peak hours in order to maintain system reliability in the far north of Chile where grid access is weak.
Rurelec is continuing to progress its application to the Foreign Securities Registry of the Chilean Securities and Insurance Supervisor ("SVS") for its shares to be admitted to a Santiago Stock Exchange listing. This listing is expected to provide future access to the attractive Chilean corporate debt market for long term fixed rate bonds as it rolls out its programme of new thermal power plants at Arica and Mejillones in the north of Chile.
Peter Earl, CEO of Rurelec said: "We have always been Britain's premier Clean Tech power generator in Latin America. By pioneering the use on LPG in northern Chile, we expect to create a showcase for clean power which will serve us well as our IPC subsidiary competes to install environmentally acceptable thermal capacity in Europe and Central Asia as well as in Chile and Peru."
At 10:14am: [LON:RUR] Rurelec share price was +0.13p at 10.75p
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