12 Jan 2014

Power plants in Chile ordered not to pollute

6:42 am on 12 January 2014

The Supreme Court in Chile has ordered the operator of two coal power plants to ensure it does not cause environmental damage, warning they will be closed if problems persist.

Fishermen in the Bio Bio region argued that the Bocamina power stations were sucking in crabs, sardines and other species and pumping out warm, contaminated water.

The two plants are operated by a subsidiary of Endesa of Spain.

The court ruled that the plants would be shut if the company did not take sufficient measures to guarantee the protection of the region's environment.

In March last year, thousands of dead prawns and dead crabs washed up on a beach in Coronel city near the plants, about 530km from the capital, Santiago.

An investigation was held after fishermen linked the deaths to the operations of the power stations.