In April, the board of Endesa Chile approved a USD273 million investment for the construction of the Los Cí³ndores hydroelectric plant in the Andes foothills in the Maule region VII, which will have nominal capacity of 150 MW and an estimated average annual generation of 529 GWh. The plant will use waters stored in Lake Maule which will be channelled through mixed adduction (pipes and tunnels) over some 16 kilometres. Corema, the Maule region environment commission, unanimously approved in mid April the environmental impact assessment (EIA). Endesa Chile, meanwhile, will launch tenders for the plant's works as soon as formal environmental permits are issued. Three contracts for civil works and one for equipment are planned. The project includes a main headrace tunnel, a secondary headrace runnel, on the right bank of the river Maule, and a surge tank. There are also associated works, not subterranean. The plant will be built near the town of San Clemente, 271 km south of Santiago, in the Maule region VII. Water to the plant will be conveyed through approximately 16 km of pipelines and tunnels from the Laguna del Maule, a lake-filled caldera in the Talca province that feeds the Maule river. Construction is due to last 50 months after starting in September 2008. Once the project is commissioned, which is scheduled for late 2012, it is to generate 529 GWh of electricity per year. Visit www.endesa.cl 24/08.