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Engie to shutter 1 GW of coal by 2024, replacing capacity with renewables

French utility Engie SA on Dec. 10 unveiled plans to close roughly 1 GW of coal-fired generation in Chile and Peru between 2019 and 2024, and replace the capacity with new renewables projects.

The company will shutter two coal units with a capacity of 334 MW in Mejillones, Chile, by 2024. In June, Engie closed two coal units with a capacity of 170 MW in Tocopilla, and also announced the planned shutdown of two more coal units at the same site with a capacity of 270 MW by 2021. In Peru, Engie plans to close the 135-MW Ilo 21 coal-fired project by 2022.

The company declared that it will replace the retiring capacity with 1 GW of wind and solar assets in Chile, for an investment of around $1 billion. The Capricorn solar park and Calama wind farm are currently under construction, while the Tamaya solar park will begin construction in the first quarter of 2020. The three projects represent the first 370 MW of the plan.

Engie also intends to structure an up to $125 million of long-term loan with the InterAmerican Development Bank to finance renewables investments in Chile.