Codelco’s El Salvador division reveal 30 new electric buses for worker transportation

Published on Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Buses eléctricos división El Salvador de Codelco
  • Enel X and Tandem will implement new electric buses and their respective charging stations. This project is executed thanks to an investment by BTG Pactual, an alliance that will allow the mining and other industries to accelerate their progress in the energy transition.


Diego de Almagro, June 25, 2024 - The Codelco-Nuevo Salvador operation made the benefits of electromobility available to its approximately 1,500 workers, through the deployment of 30 electric buses that will be used to transport the state-owned copper company's personnel. This project was implemented by Enel X and Tandem and executed under a new investment vehicle for electromobility led by BTG Pactual.

The inauguration ceremony was directed by the CEO of Codelco, Rubén Alvarado, accompanied by the key executives of the companies that designed, implemented, and financed the project: Claudio Candia, Manager of Companies and Industries at Enel X; Andrés Navarrete, Executive Director of BTG Pactual; and Roberto Palma, CEO of Tandem.

The new electric buses, manufactured by Yutong with a range of 350 km, will enable the employees of Codelco's El Salvador Division to commute daily to the mine facilities in a clean and sustainable manner, thereby helping to reduce the operation's emissions.

This new milestone underscores the beginning of electromobility’s widespread deployment, reaching even the most remote areas of the country, an effort that will help decontaminate one of the world's clearest skies, like those over the Atacama Desert.

The project will be implemented under the Charging as a Service (CaaS) model, which offers a comprehensive solution for infrastructure, maintenance, and energy management of the charging stations through the construction of electro-terminals.

Claudio Candia, Manager of Companies and Industries at Enel X, who participated in the launch of this new electric transportation service in the mining sector of El Salvador, highlighted the project's advantages: “We are proud to bring such initiatives to life, as they bring about a series of positive impacts. In addition to contributing to the decarbonization of mining operations, they directly benefit the community and, above all, the workers at this Codelco site.”

Similarly, BTG Pactual values being part of this agreement that favors the local mining community by generating a series of positive external benefits. “We are happy to work together with Enel X and Codelco within the framework of this agreement, which will allow us to make a definitive contribution to the electrification of transportation and the transition towards clean energy. We are taking a decisive step towards sustainable mobility, and BTG Pactual plays a leading role in channeling capital towards projects that are strategically important for the planet,” says Andrés Navarrete, Executive Director of BTG Pactual.

Starting today, nearly a thousand people will commute daily to and from their homes in modern zero-emission buses, reducing more than 1,980 tons of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to the positive impact of planting 4,960 trees.

Tandem, the company responsible for operating the new electric buses, was the first Latin American company to incorporate this standard in the mining industry for passenger transport. To charge the bus fleet, Enel X has set up two charging terminals in the mining city (North Terminal and South Terminal), each equipped with 8 charging stations totaling 150 kW of power to allow for an agile, dynamic, and flexible operation.

Roberto Palma, CEO of Tandem, highlighted the significance of this agreement for the community, the mining industry, and clean transportation: “The sustainable electromobility service we will provide to Codelco's El Salvador division demands the highest standards, and at Tandem, we know how to meet them. That is why we will deploy 30 fully electric, dual-motor buses with a range of 350 kilometers, along with training for drivers, crew, mechanics, administrators, and back-office staff.”

The Salvador Division of Codelco is located in the town of Diego de Almagro, in the Atacama Region, at an altitude of 2,600 meters above sea level. Its mining operation hold significant importance to the country's economy. In 2023, it produced 13,000 metric tons of fine copper and 30,997 kilograms of silver, contributing significant foreign revenue to the government. The decision to go with electric buses for its worker transportation considered the performance of this technology in high-altitude areas, the zero emission of pollutants, its capacity to transport up to 46 passengers, and the added value of the synergy between Enel X and Tandem, a partnership that has already worked together to provide such services.