Pacific Hydro of Australia has agreed a joint venture with Norwegian Statkraft Norfund Power Invest to construct the first stage of Chile’s Tinguiririca river hydro power project.

The two companies are to team up to complete the 155MW La Higuera project at a cost of US$170M, as part of the country’s official power generation expansion programme. Construction is to begin later this year, with the power plant generating some 840GWh annually once commissioned in 2008.

The second stage of the Tinguiririca river project consists of the 145MW La Confluencia scheme which is expected to follow in the next 2–3 years.

Pacific Hydro is already operating Chile’s Coya and Pangal projects following their recent acquisition from Codelco.