Patagon Valley: Panelists Highlight Innovation Developments in Chile’s Extreme South

May 05, 2021

At end April, experts from different sectors came together in the webinar “From the End of the World to the Forefront of Innovation” to highlight pioneering projects being developed in and around Punta Arenas, the capital city of Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antartica Chilena.

During the event - chaired by Georges de Bourguignon (CBS/SIPA’17), President of the Columbia Business School Alumni Chile chapter, member of the Santiago Center’s Advisory Board and Chief Investment Officer at ASSET AGF - three executives outlined projects in Punta Arenas, which is becoming a hub of groundbreaking business activities and getting known as “Patagon Valley,” making a play on words between Silicon Valley and the Patagonia area.

Denisse Abudinén, Chief Executive E&P Business at state-owned fuel company ENAP, presented on renewable energy potential and developments in the region. Specifically, she spoke about the Vientos Patagonicos project in which the firm partnered with Pecket Energy to build a wind farm to provide 15% of Punta Arena’s electricity supply.

In turn, Clara Bowman, Director at High Innovative Fuels (HIF), an international consortium led by energy conglomerate AME in association with ENAP, Enel Green Power, Siemens Energy and Porsche, presented on the consortium’s developing a pilot project to produce green hydrogen. The latter is hydrogen fuel created using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, which is considered key in cutting down on climate-warming emissions.

Finally, Juan Luis Contreras, Managing Partner at Patagon Valley Tech Park, labeled Patagon Valley as the first technology and energy park in Latin America. Most recently, Amazon Web Services (AWS) decided to build eight land satellites in the park to launch AWS Ground Station, a managed service that allows global firms to control satellite communications, process data, and scale operations. In addition, Starlink - a satellite network being constructed by SpaceX to provide high-speed internet access to rural areas - will install one of its projects in the neighboring area.