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Andean Nations Take First Step Toward Regional Power Grid

Nov 20, 2007 - Xinhua

Senior energy officials from fiveAndean nations agreed here Monday to work on a project that will connect the electricity network in the region.

"The meeting was very fruitful. We have taken the first step," Chilean Energy Minister Marcelo Tokman told a press conference after a meeting with his counterparts from Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.

"The idea is to study the benefits associated with energy integration via power connections and to study the cost and requirements," he said.

Tokman said that as the first step, an international bidding process could be launched next March to develop a feasibility study, which would set costs and evaluate the norms needed for the project.

Once this step was completed, possibly by the end of 2008, the five nations' governments would decide whether to give the go-ahead to the project, which would benefit the region in the long term, said the minister.

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