|E3 Taps NAES Bench Strength for|
Chilean Interconnection Project
by Mary Prendergast – Manager, E3 Marketing Communications
When NAES acquired E3 Consulting in April 2014, leaders on both sides predicted the acquisition would spark a number of synergies. The aggregated talent of both companies clearly yielded a formidable bench strength for both firms, and the past three years have borne this out as they have collaborated on numerous projects, boosting their respective revenues and market shares.
A high-profile case in point is the Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte’s (TEN’s) grid interconnection project in Chile. In late 2014, E3’s Jim Galambas was approached by a lender asking if E3 could take on the independent engineering work for the complex, 600 km-long 500 kV transmission line known as the TEN Project. The line would connect Chile’s two main transmission systems, Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) and Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande (SING).
The SING grid serves northern Chile, which currently generates 20 percent of the country’s electricity with plans to produce more in the future. The SIC grid in central Chile transmits almost 70 percent of the country’s power and serves over 90 percent of its 18 million people. Currently lacking an interconnect, the two grids operate independently. The TEN project will both stabilize the overall system and reduce the cost of electricity to consumers by increasing competition in Chile’s power market.
Galambas bid on TEN after putting together a team of experienced professionals, including NAES’s Craig DesChenes and Andrew Markle. Fluent Spanish speakers with experience in both Latin America and the transmission sector, DesChenes and Markle brought significant depth to the team, helping E3 win the bid to serve as lender’s technical advisor in support of the financing. The project launched in 2015 and, with E3’s support, recently achieved financial close for lead banker IPEX-Bank and its consortium of nine local and international banks plus a U.S. insurance company. Debt capital for the project totaled U.S. $854 million.
E3 is currently providing construction monitoring services for TEN, which is expected to begin commercial operation by the end of 2017. Construction monitoring helps owners and lenders control their investment by managing risk on the project.
For this assignment, E3 conducts quarterly site visits to verify the EPC Contractor’s and Owner’s Engineer’s monthly reports on procurement for and construction of the substation and transmission line. DesChenes conducts site visits as well, meeting with key managers at the TEN office in Santiago. He also spends several days in the field reviewing progress on the project first-hand. His assessment goes into E3’s monthly project report, which provides updates to TEN and project lenders on progress and conditions such as permit compliance and environmental impact assessments.
To learn more about the TEN project, email Jim Galambas or call 303-762-7072.