CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

Latin America & the Caribbean

Chile / Alto Maipo-01/Cajon del Maipo

Affected communities
Date Filed
January 24, 2017
Water shortage and contamination, noise pollution
Case Status
Open - Compliance


Project Overview

IFC has an active project with Alto Maipo SpA. According to IFC, the project comprises the construction of two run-of-the-river hydroelectric facilities connected in series with a combined capacity of 531 MW for the purposes of providing baseload electricity to the Chilean Central Interconnected Grid or SIC. It will be developed in the Upper Volcan River, Upper Yeso River and Colorado River, all in the Maipo River Basin and 90% of the Project’s infrastructure will be underground, which will include powerhouses, siphons, access tunnels and water conveyance systems, including a total of 67 kilometers (km) of tunnels.


CAO received a complaint filed by a local organization, La Coordinadora Cuidadana No Alto Maipo, and Ecosistemas, a Chilean environmental NGO focused on ecological and socio-cultural concerns at the national and international level, on behalf of affected communities. The complaint alleges that the project will lead to diversions of the Maipo river resulting in impacts on water access and quality, farming, tourism and the environment. Further, the complaint raises concerns with regards to the Project’s impact assessment and alleges that the Project construction activities have resulted in impacts for two communities, notably noise pollution.


CAO Action

CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in March 2017 and an assessment trip was conducted in April 2017. During the assessment, there was a lack of consensus amongst the parties to engage in a CAO facilitated dispute resolution process. Hence, in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines, the case has been referred to CAO’s Compliance function. 



The case has been referred to CAO’s Compliance function for appraisal.


Status as of October 30, 2017.


Note: A CAO assessment does not entail a judgment on the merits of complaints. Rather, the aim is to listen to people's concerns, understand the different perspectives, and gauge whether it is possible to address the concerns in a collaborative process.


Project information

Project Name & Number
Alto Maipo 31632
Alto Maipo SpA
Large Hydro - Renewable Energy Generation
Latin America & the Caribbean
Environmental Category
Debt US $150 million

Case Tracker


  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Completed


  • Under Appraisal: In Process