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Interchile milestone: We perform the first major maintenance after 6 years at Encuentro y Lagunas

Interchile milestone: We perform the first major maintenance after 6 years at Encuentro y Lagunas

This is an important process of maintaining all assets at these two substations, which previously involved an arduous planning and programming effort to minimize the risks associated with this intervention.

This milestone includes live-line activities (TcT) to ensure the continuity of the energy service with as little impact as possible on the SEN, always guaranteeing the safety culture that characterizes us and taking care of the health of the people who are carrying it out.

We spoke with Samuel Marín, Substation Manager at Interchile, who gave us more details about this important milestone for our organization.


What kind of works are being carried out?

The six-year maintenance activities are being carried out on Interchile’s assets at the Encuentro and Lagunas 220 kV substations, and are considered major maintenance given the complexity, duration and impact on the SEN (National Electric System). These works were carried out between 22 and 28 August at the Encuentro Substation and will be carried out between 1 and 9 September at the Lagunas Substation.


Why is it important to carry out these maintenance works?

These activities are a milestone for Interchile, it is the first six-year maintenance of all its assets, within this maintenance will be carried out live line activities – Work with Voltage (TcT)-, to ensure the continuity of the energy service at the Encuentro and Lagunas 220 kV substations impacting the SEN as little as possible, but always guaranteeing the safety of the personnel who will carry out the maintenance.


Why is it important that Interchile employees are aware of this?

It is important that we all know about the execution of these works, since the maintenance of these assets corresponds to the most important maintenance of Interchile’s first assets. These teams were energized in 2017 and are the assets of the Great Northern Zone of Chile.


With what capacity of Interchile is this work linked?

To carry out this work, we have around 36 people in the field, 12 of whom are from Interchile, and the main skills that need to be put into practice for this work are: Networking, Operational Excellence and Adaptability.


“For our organization, the safety of its workers and contractors is a priority. These works will be executed with the utmost rigour and excellence, always guaranteeing the preservation of people’s lives. We plan, identify and intervene when there is evidence of a risk situation for people, equipment or facilities,” Samuel added.


Further information on this process

During the planning phase of the activities, activities were carried out such as:

– Include the activities of this maintenance during the preparation of the 2023 maintenance plan

– Declare the activities of this maintenance as Major Maintenance to the National Electrical Coordinator

– Make a prior visit to the work site to identify the best alternative to carry out the work safely

– Prepare the details of the activities to be carried out with our contractor

– Construct in detail, and with cross-checking, the step-by-step for the protection and control maintenance activities (SPAT)

– Define and coordinate the resources required in the field

– Prepare the qualification of Interchile supervisors for live work

– To elaborate in detail the workplans required to implement these activities

– Coordinate in a timely manner with the facility owner to enable the execution of work and facilitate the availability of resources on site

– Coordination with the National Electrical Coordinator to ensure approval of the works


“In general, the planning of these works allows us to manage our risks, in such a way that during the execution of the works the activities flow in a better way, with controlled risks and executing all the planned activities”, explained Jorge Jaimes, Director of Maintenance at Interchile.

“During the execution of the work, we implement good practices, such as the figure of the general task manager, who coordinates all activities in the field, and group leaders with our staff, who serve us to manage risks. In this maintenance, we will additionally enable our live work supervisors in a practical way and serve as a re-training for our engineering staff in the implementation of all field safety practices.

Likewise, we will identify opportunities for improvement to take them into account for future maintenance,” added Jorge.