US$10 Million Loan Will Give Chile’s Mining Sector Access to Energy


IIC financing will support development of the world’s largest copper producer

Washington, D.C., July 25, 2012—The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a loan of up to US$10 million to Transmisora Mejillones S.A. for the construction and operation of an electric power transmission project for a copper and molybdenum mine in Sierra Gorda, in northern Chile.

The double-circuit 220 kV overhead transmission line will extend 80 km from the Encuentro substation, the main node of region’s electrical grid, to the future Sierra Gorda substation. The total cost of this project is US$50 million.

“The US$3 billion mining project will have a positive impact on the private sector and raise Chile’s profile as one of the world’s leading mineral exporters,” noted Ana María Orellana, IIC senior investment officer in charge of the operation. “The transmission line is a key component in the construction of the mine, and the design and engineering know-how furnished by the multinational company Abengoa will contribute to technology transfer.”

Abengoa Chile S.A. will collaborate with Transmisora Mejillones in the development, design, supply, and construction of the project. Once the construction phase has ended, it will also operate the line and perform the necessary maintenance.

There has been a booming demand for minerals in recent years, due to the strong growth of the emerging nations. As a result, remote areas of northern Chile have seen the launch of new mining projects that must be connected to the national power grid. The project will provide jobs for 250 people during the construction phase and 10 during the operational phase.

About the IIC

The IIC, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, promotes private-sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We help companies streamline management processes and provide them with financing in the form of equity investments, loans, and guarantees. In 2011, the IIC reached the symbolic one-billion-dollar mark in disbursements of own and third-party funds. Throughout our history, we have benefited more than 1.6 million SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information on the IIC’s activities, visit

Contact: Ana María Orellana

Telephone: + (562) 431-3707 in Santiago, Chile