SALMON FARMERS AND environmentalists are opposing the development of the Alumsya Project in Chile, which recently received an expression of support from the Chilean Minister of Economy, Jorge Rodriguez.

The project, proposed by Canada-based Noranda, involves the development of a 440,000t Aluminun producing facility, a port and the construction of three hydro dams.

The hydro plants, Rio Cuervo, Lago Condo and Rio Blanco would have a total installed capacity of 758MW. The plants also require the installation of 79km of transmission lines.

Salmon farmers say that the project would have devastating effects on the salmon, raised in pens in nearby bays. However, Alumysa chief executive, Robert Biehl, has called the salmon producers’ arguments ‘unacceptable’ and accused them of lax environmental standards themselves. Biehl has said the company would impose strict environmental controls over the entire affected region, which would likely force other industries in the area to adopt similar standards.