Futaleufú Riverkeeper, press release, Jan. 8 -- Fundación Futaleufú Riverkeeper, the first Waterkeeper program in Patagonia, informs that Endesa has announced it is advancing on 17 energy projects, including the megaproject Centrales Futaleufú. With a total installed capacity of 1,367 MW, the dams on the Futaleufú would together become the second-largest project in Patagonia, only surpassed by the HidroAysen project on the Baker and Pascua Rivers. The Futaleufú Riverkeeper will continue monitoring the development of this project and will be working with local communities and other organizations to develop a response to these threats.
In an interview last week, Endesa’s Regional Planning Executive Sebastián Fernández revealed the multinational’s plans to continue developing projects in Chilean Patagonia. Fernández’ statements, planted in Chile’s Diario Financiero, were designed to improve investor confidence in the company’s ability to develop these projects, while omitting the reality that Endesa will continue facing a number of legal challenges and civic protests. The push for new sources of energy at the cost of destroying Patagonia’s rivers comes from the mining sector, which needs a reliable supply of energy to continue expanding in the coming decade.
Last week’s statements by Fernández resolve any doubts about Endesa’s plans to use the water rights they already own on the Futaleufú. Endesa has kept a low profile in the region when announcing advancements about the project, however the company has repeatedly used the generating capacity of the Futaleufú projects to attract potential investors. The graphic to the right, released by Endesa in a 2011 presentation (available here), shows the size of the Futaleufú dams relative to other projects.
“The Futaleufú River is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world and constitutes one of the great attractions of Patagonia,” said attorney Robert Currie Ríos, the Futaleufú Riverkeeper’s President and Founder. “Endesa’s plans to build a series of dams on this river would destroy the local economy and ruin one of Chile’s natural treasures.”
For more information click here: www.futaleufuriverkeeper.org/hydroelectricity/
Fundación Futaleufú Riverkeeper is a Chilean nonprofit foundation with fiscal sponsorship from the Waterkeeper Alliance, a 501(c)3 organization.