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Abengoa to Build South America’s Biggest Solar-Thermal Plant

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Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Abengoa SA, the biggest developer of solar-thermal plants, won a contract to build a $1 billion project in Chile’s Atacama desert that will be the largest of its kind in South America.

The Cerro Dominador plant will have access to more than $500 million in loans from international agencies and as much as $20 million in state subsidies, the Chilean government said today in a statement.

Chile passed a law last year that will require 20 percent of all power to be derived from renewable energy starting 2025. The 110-megawatt project will “diversify the mix of our electricity generation matrix, give us greater energy independence and reduce emissions,” Energy Minister Jorge Bunster said in the statement.

The plant to be built in the northern commune of Maria Elena will use mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a tower to heat molten salts that will produce steam to drive a turbine, Seville, Spain-based Abengoa said today in a separate statement.

The project includes a system that will allow heat to be stored for 17.5 hours, Abengoa said.

Corfo is officially known as Corp. de Fomento de la Produccion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephan Nielsen in Sao Paulo at snielsen8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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