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Chile's Supreme Court halts 350-MW plant after fishermen complain about pollution

Chile's Supreme Court has suspended operations at the 350 megawatt Bocamina II thermoelectric plant.

The court on Friday sided with local fishermen who say the plant owned by energy company Endesa Chile has polluted their community.

The decision adds to a series of setbacks for megaprojects due to environmental concerns in energy-strapped Chile.

A $1.4 billion thermoelectric plant also owned by Endesa was suspended last year. A controversial project to power central Chile by damming Patagonian rivers in the south remains on standby.

Environmentalists fighting against the coal-fired thermoelectric plants and the hydropower dams argue that Chile should invest in renewable energy. But some experts say alternative energy would not meet demand over the coming years. Studies indicate Chile needs to triple its energy capacity to keep growing.