The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$ 195 million loan to support construction of the 531 MW Alto Maipo Hydroelectric Project in Chile.

The funds will go to developer Alto Maipo, which is 60% owned by Chilean power company AES Gener and 40% owned by mining group Antofagasta Minerals, as part of a financing package worth over US$ 1.2 billion.

The project includes construction of the Alfalfal II and Las Lajas run-of-the-river hydroelectric facilities, located approximately 50 km southeast of Santiago, together with new transmission lines.

The IDB said 90% of the project's infrastructure, including the powerhouses and 67 km of tunnels, would be located underground.

The project is co-financed by the International Finance Corporation, the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation and six commercial banks.

The total project cost will be roughly US$ 2 billion, and the facilities are expected to come on-line in 2018.

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