The Bocamina Thermoelectric Plant is located in the sector of Lo Rojas, District of Coronel, Region of Biobío, Chile.
The Plant is comprised of two units: Unit 1 and Unit 2; their purpose is to generate electrical energy. Their primary fuel is coal and the installed capacity of both units is 478 MW (128 MW in Unit 1 and 350 MW in Unit 2).
The improvement in the Plant's environmental performance has been the constant focus over past years, adding up to an investment of over USD $200 million. This investment has made it possible to decrease emissions by more than what is required by applicable regulations. An example of this is that it has been indicated that particulate matter emissions are 80% lower than the limits of S.D. No. 13/11 from the Ministry of the Environment, and the limits stipulated by the Environmental Qualification Resolution.
- The Plant performs ongoing follow-up of different environmental variables, such as atmospheric emissions, air quality, noise, liquid effluents, and the marine environment, at 90 different monitoring points.
- Bocamina is the first Thermoelectric Plant in Chile to communicate its emissions in real time to the Superintendency of the Environment (SMA).
- Both units have desulfurization systems for the reduction of SO2, sleeve filters to mitigate the particulate matter emissions, and combustion system with low emissions of NOx.
- The Bocamina Thermoelectric Plant has the highest carbon management standard in Chile and South America. Both fields (north and south) are covered by geodesic domes that prevent fugitive emissions from being released into the environment, due to the movement of the material and the wind activity.
Both units have 3-millimeter sieve filters in the siphon of the seawater intake system in order to impede the entry of large hydrobiological organisms and prevent smaller organisms from being sucked in.
This is a district with a unique identity that combines the mining tradition with that of artisan fishermen, with a very tight-knit social fabric that co-exists with industries of great national interest, featuring: Energy generation, forestry industry, port industry, fishing, and the service industry.
A hardworking community with deep-seated culture and prevailing social organization that was able to transform a rural, mono-productive territory into a region with great, valuable opportunities.
Located on the central coast of Chile 30 kilometers south of Concepción, this is the capital of the Region of Biobío. The total surface area of the district is 279 km2, including the Isla Santa María. According to the 2017 Census, the population is 116,262 people, which makes it the region's fifth most populated city.
It was founded in 1849, two years after the first coal deposit of Schwager was discovered. Mining of this mineral took place for over 120 years and decreased during the 1990s when the State of Chile decided to close the primary state-funded mineral deposits, resulting in a drastic economic and social decline. Set against this backdrop, a plan for attracting new capital was initiated after this, which would bolster the port and fishing industry.
It had a predominantly rural past in the sectors of Calabozo, Escuadrón, and Patagual, which up until the present day preserve a part of the area's rural culture.
The natural heritage of this bay is comprised of its green hills, five wetlands featuring that of Boca Maule, Playa Blanca, Isla Santa María , Caleta Maule, as well as the scenic beauty of the Nahuelbuta Mountain Range.
The primary tourist and cultural attractions are the Las Olas Boardwalk on the seafront, Jorge Alessandri Park, the historic neighborhood and center of Schwager and Maule, the Galvarino landmark, and the Interactive Center of Science, Art, and Technology (CICAT).
The emblematic dishes of this area are the “carbonada” (meat stew), historically rooted in the mining industry, “mining” kneaded bread (pan amasado minero), with a traditional recipe using communal wood-fired stoves, smoked fish, and dried fish (fish jerky).
The town of Lota is located nine kilometers away from this district, where coal mining can still be relived with guided tours of the inside of the shafts, featuring El Chiflón del Diablo.
The “My neighborhood, our Neighborhood” project aims at promoting the development of the neighborhoods of families who were relocated. “My Neighborhood, our Neighborhood” seeks to create conditions so that once the physical move to their new homes has been completed, the families are able to develop their skills while in possession the infrastructure resources needed to reestablish their livelihoods, specifically in their social lives.
The essence of the project is Enel's opportunity to re-bridge the gaps in the relocation process that has already taken place, and not only contribute to the dream of having one’s own house, but also building inclusive neighborhoods where families feel like they belong.
This initiative is primarily due to the new relationship framework with the community of Coronel which establishes appropriate and unquestionable compliance with international standards for relocation processes defined by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
In the spirit of reestablishing the livelihoods of the resettled families, the spiritual and social lives the families carried out with the evangelical organizations in their original neighborhoods was pinpointed as a key element.
The agreement signed with the different religious organizations of Coronel affected by the resettlement process envisions the rebuilding of new spaces.
Enel Generación Chile will accompany the churches throughout the rebuilding process, from the procurement of land, construction, and, lastly, to enabling these spaces.
This initiative represents a development opportunity for the MSMEs in the area. Consulting and financing are offered of up to 15 million Chilean pesos for businesses revolving around the environment, heritage, technology, and innovation.
Two invitations to participate were carried out in 2018, almost 900 terms of the fund were provided, and over 140 applications were received from formal and informal enterprises.
This fund is in line with the objectives of the Environmental and Social Recovery Program (PRAS) of Coronel, which is contributing to recovering the intangible heritage and promoting the identity of the district and increasing the local community's access to sources of jobs.
The project involves the construction of the Rosa Medel New School, an educational complex representing the historical school of the majority of the resettled families, with a significant sentimental tie for many of them. The Rosa Medel school is currently far away from the new neighborhoods that have emerged due to the resettlement. The aim of Enel Generación, and that of the other involved stakeholders such as the Municipality and the Parent Center, is to build a new schools in an urban area that is different from the current location, where it can welcome the new classes of Coronel students.
This project will be carried out jointly with the Municipality of Coronel and the school's Parent and Guardian Center, while integrating the opinions and visions of the participants of the initiative and solidifying a process of social participation. Its educational hallmark will be distinct, with an innovative educational proposal that will be expressed in the design and the curricular activities to be carried out.
The initiative contributes to improving the cleanliness of uncultivated lands, removing small garbage dumps, and improving the quality of life of the families who live in the sectors of La Colonia, El Esfuerzo, El Mirador, and Cerro Obligado. This initiative entails the demolition of homes and cleanup of land within the framework of the Resettlement Plan spearheaded by Enel Generación Chile.
It incorporates a removal plan and final disposal of materials with asbestos, thereby complying with all requirements indicated by the health authority. The endeavor entailed the investment of almost one million Chilean pesos contributed entirely by Enel Generación Chile to finance the works. In total, 400 tons of material were removed that had asbestos and 4,500 tons of debris and trash over one year and five months, the time during which the activity lasted. A second stage of this initiative is currently in development.
In the community of Huertos Familiares, a sports complex is under construction which includes a multi-field complex which aims to give the families back the sports facilities they used to use before resettlement. This initiative is part of the program for bridging the gaps produced during the relocation in 2010.
The sports complex also includes an unprecedented initiative in the region: generating electricity through the use of stationary bikes.
The project involves the installation of four bikes connected to a modern battery system that can feed a small movie theater for a few hours. In so doing, each turn on the bike will help to charge these batteries and make it possible to enjoy a movie, thereby encouraging healthy living and sports. The aim is for this initiative to begin before the end of 2018.
The Resettlement Plan involves a task that is divided into various activities, all related but different. Using this logic, Enel Generación Chile created the project to train “watchmen” to look after uninhabited homes from the aforementioned relocation plan, the purpose of which is to lend a hand in the cleanup operations.
This project involves 98 employees and training while instilling skills regarding the environment, surveillance, and community, so that Coronel will have a future Citizen Security service.
Starting in June 2017, they have operated in cleanup activities of wetlands and the coastal areas of the community with a monthly investment around 70 million pesos.
Enel Generación Chile's participation in the area’s sustainable development is also observed in the neighborhoods surrounding the operations of the Bocamina thermoelectric plant, not only for the neighborhoods with resettled families.
In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a business opportunity was introduced with a strong gender-based focus in one of the neighborhoods adjacent to the plant. This is the Eco-Furniture Store of Cerro Obligado, a startup with great opportunity for growth in the district.
The Eco-Furniture Store uses waste materials such as pallets and domestic wood from the Bocamina Plant and from other industrial plants in Coronel to build various community fixtures and furnishings such as chairs, benches, pieces of furniture, tables, etc. The green building trade was acquired by four women from Coronel during the summer of 2017 at the Explorer Camp for Ecofriendly Technology of the Asociación Sembra in the district of Nogales, Region of Valparaíso. They learned to build furniture and homes with recycled materials during this period, as well as techniques for the use of natural, native materials.
Over a six-month period, the project has received a total of 17,090 kilos of waste materials, approximately equal to 855 pallets, coming from Enel Generación Chile's Bocamina Plant, Pesquera Camanchaca, and Ecofibras, all companies from Coronel. If they wouldn't have been recycled, this waste would have largely been used as fuel for wood-fired heaters, negatively affecting the air quality of a district that is already in a territory declared as a saturated zone of PM2.5 particulate matter. The project supports efforts to decrease the environmental footprint given the reuse of pallets.
In 2018, 601 ecofriendly pieces of furniture have been made with 742 pallets, which is equal to 15,090 kilos of pallets and 100 kilos of timber from fallen trees. The ecofriendly furniture store has sold 100% of its created products.
As part of the “My Neighborhood, our Neighborhood” program, this project involves the construction of a green building community site where the community participates in the design and building. Furthermore, it includes a specific space so that the children of Cerro Obligado can have access to sensory experiences that will develop their ability to perceive and understand their surroundings and environment.
The community site will be built by four women who have been trained with the support of Enel Generación and Asociación Sembra in green building, while applying their learnings aimed at a low environmental impact. They will make full use of the resources available in the place: the land itself of Cerro Obligado and recycled materials that are easily accessible for the community.
This project involves the design and completion of a mural in the back patio of the Bocamina Plant, which is located along the coastal shoreline of the Lo Rojas sector of Coronel. The project has contributed to the beautification of the sector and has revived the fishing and industrial identity of the district.
This work can primarily be observed from the ships in the Bay of Coronel. It has enabled the beautification of the coastal shoreline of Coronel and bolstered efforts to recover this area which are being carried out by women’s’ unions devoted to the labor of collecting and marketing algae.
Within the framework of the Community Agreement signed in 2014 between the Municipality of Coronel, the Regional Government, various social organizations and unions, and Enel Generación Chile, this fund was created which depends on 180 million Chilean pesos annually. It finances and promotes community projects in Coronel pertaining to environmental recovery and promotion, access to energy, support of educational development and socioeconomic and productive development for local entrepreneurs.