UPDATE 1-European renewable companies score at record Chile power auction

miércoles 17 de agosto de 2016 14:29 GYT

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By Felipe Iturrieta and Rosalba O'Brien

SANTIAGO Aug 17 (Reuters) - European renewable energy companies were among the biggest winners in a massive energy auction to supply Chile with power for two decades from the 2020s, the country's Energy Ministry said on Wednesday.

Successful bidders included Italian utility Enel's local arm Endesa, private renewable energy developer Mainstream, and Spanish firms Acciona Energia, Ibereolica, and Cox Energy.

The average winning price was $47.6 per megawatt hour, well below original market expectations of around $80.

The auction to supply a total of 12,430 gigawatt hours annually for 20 years - Chile's largest ever - had been competitive, thanks to aggressively low priced bids, mainly from renewables.

The cheap prices secured are good news for Chile's consumers and energy-intensive copper mining industry, which have suffered with some of Latin America's highest power costs in recent years. But they do not bode so well for the incumbent energy suppliers.

Company executives pointed to the tender rules as encouraging competitive pricing.

"Enel is now well positioned to expand its leadership in efficient and sustainable power generation in Chile," said Francesco Starace, the chief executive of Enel, which won the most overall capacity, securing nearly 6,000 gigawatt hours.   Continuación...