Earthquake in Chile: Limited Impact on Pacific Hydro People and Assets

1 March 2010

A severe earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale struck central Chile in the early hours of Saturday morning. Media reports indicate that at least several hundred people have been killed and there has been significant disruption to infrastructure in areas south west of Santiago.

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the people of Chile at this very difficult time; particularly to those who have lost loved ones and homes.

Pacific Hydro staff and contractors are accounted for and are safeWhilst communication within and from Chile has been limited, the Pacific Hydro Chile (PHC) management team has advised that Pacific Hydro staff and contractors have been accounted for and are safe. Pacific Hydro has encouraged those contractors located onsite to travel home to ensure the safety of their families.

Pacific Hydro will continue to ensure staff safety as a priority.

Structural surveys and safety inspections are underwayPHC maintains an office in Santiago, operates the Coya and Pangal run-of-river hydroelectric power stations and is currently constructing three major run-of-river hydro projects 100 km south east of Santiago; the epicentre of the quake is reported to have been at least 300 km south west of Santiago.

Initial inspections of company assets and project related infrastructure indicate that only limited damage has been sustained however formal structural surveys and safety inspections will be carried out at each of the company’s sites over the coming weeks.

The Coya hydro station has begun operating again at reduced capacity after shutting down during the earthquake. It seems the power station has sustained some minor damage. Further investigations are underway.

An inspection of the Pacific Hydro Santiago office has found it has only sustained limited physical damage which is testament to the building codes and construction standards in Chile.

Pacific Hydro will work with staff and contractors during this difficult time and ensure structural reviews and safety inspections are completed as soon as possible.