In recent years Chile has been one of the most active and developing countries in South America, with an economical growth rate of +5 / 7% per year. This rapid growth was also reflected in its need for increased and stable sources of energy, with a growing concern over the environmental impact that energy production infrastructures could mean to the country.
Environmental regulations demanded more and more strict requirements from energy utilities in order to reduce the polluting impact from power plant effluents. To cope with these new standards of requirements, MAC® (Magaldi Ash Cooler) technology was applied to the power station, in particular with the aim of completely eliminating the use of water for the bottom ash handling of the existing wet systems.



Endesa Chile, a subsidiary of Enersis belonging to the Enel Group, is the largest electricity generator in Chile and one of the largest companies in the country, operating a total of 5,571MW, representing 30% of the local market. The installed capacity of Endesa Chile, its subsidiaries and jointly controlled companies in Chile, is distributed in 62% hydroelectric, 36% thermal and 2% wind generation.



On the outskirts of Conception, a sunny city located approx. 600 km south of Santiago, the capital of Chile, Endesa Chile has a 45 year old power plant, Bocamina, located in the bay of Coronel (VIII region, of Bio-Bio river), close to the sea. The Bocamina power plant uses imported coals, coming from the coal handling jetty located in the proximity. The Unit #1, object of this retrofit project, is a 128 MW natural circulation boiler manufactured by Franco Tosi.
In January 2008 the contract for the retrofit of the existing water impounded hopper with the MAC® system was signed between Magaldi Power and Endesa Chile. It included the supply of the equipment for the handling of bottom ash to a storage silo.
The project for the wet-to-dry conversion of the bottom ash handling system at the Bocamina power plant aimed at achieving the following main benefits and operational improvements:

The performance of the existing wet bottom ash handling was deeply investigated and compared to the expected performance of the dry MAC® technology. The comparison results were evaluated as very good by the Client, leading to a “green light” decision for the feasibility of the project.
Moreover, from an environmental point of view, the elimination of water discharge and treatment, together with the possibility of increasing marketability for the bottom ash by avoiding its disposal, gave an invaluable contribution to reducing the impact of the plant’s operations on the coastal area. Further benefits were evaluated in terms of boiler efficiency increase, high reliability of the MAC® system, reduced auxiliary power consumption and maintenance costs.
After completing erection and commissioning, the dry MAC® technology improved plant operations, reduced the overall costs for the bottom ash handling, eliminated the use of water and made Bocamina a better place to work and its surroundings a better place to live.