It was an option that had been discussed for several weeks, but it has already begun to take shape: postponing the retirement of Enel Chile's Bocamina II coal-fired power plant.
In a letter, the Electricity Coordinator, the independent technical body that oversees the operation of the system, informed the Italian company that although the preventive decree that seeks to have additional measures to operate the system safely is valid until March 2022, the conditions that motivated it could be extended beyond that date, "resulting relevant that the available generation capacity is maintained or increased".
As a result of this, he said that "without prejudice to all the measures and actions necessary for the final withdrawal, disconnection and cessation of operations of the Bocamina II generating unit, also consider the possibility of postponing the withdrawal beyond the aforementioned date, in the event that the safety of the system so requires".
As reported, the plan was for that unit to stop operating in May, joining its peer Bocamina I, which had already stopped operating almost a year ago.
In this scenario, which should have the hardest period during the summer months, due to less water availability and high temperatures, it is highly possible that two Engie units that were expected to be taken out of operation in December will also be postponed to increase system security.