The thermoelectric Quintero power plant is located in the Quintero district, in the region of Valparaiso, specifically in the town of Loncura, 1 kilometer away from the homes in the area and 5 kilometers away from downtown. It was awarded its environmental permit in 2008 and was commissioned in 2009, with an open cycle configuration in order to operate with gas and diesel oil, and since 2012 has only been using natural gas for its operation. Relevant data with respect to the context of the location.
Belonging to the Valparaiso Province, the Quintero district borders Puchuncaví to the north, Concón to the south, and the Province of Quillota to the east. It is part of the intercommunal area of Greater Valparaíso, integrated jointly with the Ventanas conurbation, belonging to the Puchuncaví district.
Historically, Quintero was a tourist destination as its engine for development. In the 1960s it stood out as one of the most prestigious resorts in the central area of the country, where the most renowned families of the times had their holiday residences, due to the countless attractions, such as the Cueva del Pirata and La Puntilla Sanfuentes. It also held a strategic position due to the operation of the Quintero air base, belonging to the Chilean Air Force, still present in the county, but which presence is very far away from its past prominence.
These memories are still present in the collective imagination of a large number of the inhabitants of the county, who nostalgically recall that golden age.
However, in the last five decades more than twenty industries have settled in the area, causing it to be currently declared as a saturated zone for PM2.5 and a latency zone for PM10. In addition to this, it is constantly faced with critical environmental episodes, such as oil spills in the ocean, the stranding of coal and ash on its beaches and, among the most serious, the intoxication of more than 1,000 people in 2018, with no total certainty as to its causes.
In this context, Enel works with organizations in the city and urban center of the commune, whose total population is around 30,000 inhabitants.
Thanks to its geographical proximity, Enel carries out its work mainly together with the organizations that operate in the territory in the town of Loncura, where there is a community of about 8,000 people with a high number of older adults and children.
During the construction process of the Quintero power plant, the company collaborated with the paving of part of the Loncura downtown sector, helping to mitigate the pollution and usual emergencies caused by rains and flooding. In spite of this, basic conditions continue to be a problem for the population of the area.