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The controversial $10 billion Patagonian HidroAysen hydroelectric mega-dam approved in May by the Chilean government has recently had a Chilean appeals court in Puerto Montt vote 3 to 1 to reject seven lawsuits filed against it, with supporters of blocking it vowing to appeal to the country’s Supreme court.
The lawsuits were brought querying the legality of the government’s environmental review process and cited numerous procedural irregularities and alleged conflicts of interest.
After the Puerto Montt appeals court ruling was made public, Patagonia Sin Represas, a citizen’s group opposed to the project, said that the court decision would now be appealed to the Supreme Court, Coyhaique’s daily Diario el Divisadero reported.
The Patagonian HidroAysen hydroelectric project is a joint venture between Chilean energy company Colbun and the Spanish Endesa energy company, a part of Enel. The HidroAysen hydroelectric facility would install five dams on two of Chile’s largest rivers, the Baker and Pascua rivers in Patagonia’s southern Aysen Region XI, and would be the largest dam project ever built in Chile.
In addition to the hydroelectric cascades, the project also includes constructing 1,243 miles of electrical transmission lines to convey HidroAysen electricity to central and northern Chile.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com