US to finance solar power plant in Chile

2014-07-01 09:04
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Washington - The United States is helping Chile build a major solar power plant in the Atacama Desert, US President Barack Obama said Monday.

In his meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Obama said the 141-megawatt plant would "help meet their energy needs".

The 230 million dollars in backing will come from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a US government arm that mobilises private capital for development projects.

Bachelet noted strong economic ties with the United States through a 10-year-old free trade agreement.

Chile has further strong trade programmes with California and Massachusetts. Obama saluted Chile as a "model of democracy in Latin America".

"It's been able to consistently transition from centre-left governments to centre-right governments, but always respectful of democratic traditions," Obama said.

He noted that Bachelet "knows as well as anybody" how hard-won that democracy was.

Bachelet's father, a Chilean Air Force general, opposed General Augusto Pinochet's 1973 coup to topple elected socialist president Salvador Allende.

Her father died in prison as a consequence of torture. Bachelet and her mother were arrested and tortured.

Since June 2013, OPIC has approved nearly $900m in loan guarantees to build six renewable energy projects in Chile.
Read more on:    barack obama  |  michelle bachelet  |  chile  |  us  |  renewable energy

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