InvestChile Managing Director Andrés Rodríguez led a tight meeting schedule in five European countries with the head of the Investment Promotion Division, Salvatore Di Giovanni. The investment tour took them to France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain from November 22 through December 3. During that time, they met with over 40 companies.
Renewable energy, recycling, the food industry, service exports, innovation, enterprise and FinTech are just some of the sectors represented by the European firms that are seeking to expand from Chile into the region.
French companies that are looking at Chile
The main focus of the visit to France was promoting the energy sector and the opportunities that upcoming supply tenders will offer foreign firms in 2022, along with green hydrogen development and Chile’s long-term needs.
In Paris, the Managing Director and head of the Investment Promotion Division met with representatives from companies in the sector that already have operations in Chile or are looking for opportunities to expand there, including EDF, Air Liquide and Total Eren. Just a few days ago, the latter company announced that it expects to launch its Magallanes project in 2025, which will have up to 8 GW of electrolysis capacity.
The InvestChile team also met with representatives of Michelin, which will build the first mining truck tire recycling center in Antofagasta, a region in northern Chile. The US$50 million project will create 70 jobs.
Other meetings in France included those held with HY224, an impact fund that focuses on green energy investments; Ynsect, a company that manufactures insect protein-based food and other products; and Accor Invest, a hotel investment management group with over 850 properties around the world.
The experience of Italian firms
In Milan, InvestChile’s Managing Director and head of the Investment Promotion Division met with representatives of food industry firms that are interested in expanding in Latin America. These include Goglio Group, a 170 year-old fruit pulp packing company; the IoT precision farming specialists Bluebiloba Startup Innovativa, a spin-off of the University of Florence; Colussi, a manufacturer of traditional and artisanal Italian products with presence in 70 countries; Mensa Sana, which has three decades of experience producing functional foods; and Fluence, a water treatment and biogas production company focused on the food industry.
The challenges that the country faces in terms of developing a non-polluting energy matrix offer an investment opportunity for Italian companies, which have an increasingly important presence in Chile. The InvestChile team met with representatives of Solar Ventures, a company with 1,000 MW in projects in different countries that is looking to grow in Latin America.
Suppliers of equipment and technology are fundamental to the development of this sector.
Also in Milan, there were meetings with the companies Espe Srl, which has 45 years of experience manufacturing everything from wind turbines to biomass systems, and Satinal, a family business with nearly 100 years in the market that is looking into installing a plant to manufacture solar panel supplies in Chile.
Chile has become a hub for both local and foreign enterprise. In order to discuss startups and joint work opportunities, the Managing Director and head of the Investment Promotion Division met with Anna Sofía Zanada of InnovUp, an association of over 300 members that represents the Italian innovation ecosystem.
The executives also met with representatives of Edilpavimentazioni, which specializes in construction, engineering and infrastructure, and PQE Group, a firm in the medical and pharmaceutical field.
Their final meeting was with PwC partner Luigi Giacomo Mascellaro, who stated that there had been a reactivation in transactions due to the increase in vaccination percentages and the decrease in the risk of new lockdowns. He also noted that companies want the public health situation to be visible in order to restart M&A activities. Moreover, he highlighted that they see opportunities in the agri-food and financial sectors in Chile, especially in the insurance industry.
Germany companies continue to grow in Chile
The next stop on the investment road show was Cologne, Germany, where Andrés Rodríguez and Salvatore Di Giovanni met with Alf Baars, Partner, and Edder Cifuentes, Junior Partner, at Oppenhoff, one of the leading independent law firms in Germany, with over 110 years of history. Both Oppenhoff and ProChile Deutschland were key in drawing up InvestChile’s meeting agenda in Germany.
Later they met with representatives of JOKR, a global platform for instant grocery and retail delivery at a hyper-local scale that has just announced its arrival in Chile in 2021. The company offers custom delivery of an assortment of grocery and retail items to the customer’s doorstep in less than 15 minutes.
They also met with representatives of Knauf, a construction materials and systems manufacturing company that has had operations in Chile since 2002 and is opening a new plant in Santiago.
For its part, the company Steinert, a family business with over 130 years of experience, provides solutions for separating valuable materials from pollutants. During the meeting with the InvestChile team, they stated that they are interested in Chile’s mining and recycling sectors.
Promoting the energy sector is one of the most important points of the investment road show. The meetings continued with Clean Capital Energy, a company that is developing several projects in Chile and is looking to explore storage and green hydrogen systems. The next appointment was with AustriaEnergy, a firm that has had a presence in the country since 2013, and has developed over 700 MV of photovoltaic energy in seven projects. The latter firm will produce green ammonium in the Magallanes Region with an installed capacity of 2 GW of wind energy.
Dutch tulips are growing in Chile
The schedule in Holland began with a visit to the greenhouses of Gebr. Vletter & Den Haan in Rijnsburg. The InvestChile executives met with representatives of the lilium bulb supplier, which has had operations in Chile since 2011. They also visited Pater Bloembollen, another flower grower that hopes to have its first commercial bulbs available in Chile in 2022.
Chile’s new recycling law and opportunities for companies focused on this industry are being closely followed by global actors in this sector. The InvestChile team met with Maarten Van Randeraat, the owner of Granuband, a leading tire recycling firm in Europe and the United States. The company, which processes 50,000 tons of rubber per year, is exploring the opportunities that Chile has to offer.
One company that generates value through recycling is Black Bear Carbon, and its representatives also met with the Managing Director of InvestChile. The company is a global leader in the extraction of carbon black, which can be obtained from tires, and it sees opportunities in the mining industry.
Another firm from this sector that met with InvestChile and is looking at Chile with interest is Van der Meulen Metaal BV (VDMM), which has 21 years of experience recycling all types of materials and hopes to expand internationally.
The executives also met with representatives of Transmark-Renewable, which has a geothermal project in Chile; Royal Aware, which produces and packages dairy products; and Holland FinTech, with whom they talked about ecosystems and ways of collaborating in the future, as well as Chile’s FinTech bill.
Spain continues to bet on Chile
The final stop on the InvestChile investment road show was Madrid. In the Spanish capital, the Managing Director and head of the Investment Promotions Division of the agency met with companies from the energy, digital services, consulting, infrastructure and other sectors.
Aggity is an international technology firm that provides digital solutions and business management systems. During the meeting with InvestChile, the company showed an interest in expanding its operations to Chile and the entire region.
The next appointment was with Nabiax, a firm operating in the colocation and hosting services sector in data centers in Spain and Latin America. Today it is focused on hyper scale data centers and sees Chile as a strategic market with high growth potential. The company also has several projects that will enable it to expand its capacity to include our country.
Monei is an electronic payment facilitation firm. During its meeting with InvestChile, it showed a keen interest in expanding to Chile during the first half of 2022.
The agency’s executives also met with representatives from Talgo, which designs and manufactures trains and maintenance equipment and offers railways services worldwide. The company is observing Chile’s development in this area closely.
Consultrans is a Spanish company with an international presence that has over 35 years of experience developing engineering, architecture, strategic consulting and information technology projects for the passenger and freight transportation sectors. The company, which has been in the country for five years and exports its services to several countries from Chile, highlighted the quality and training of Chilean engineers during their meeting with InvestChile.
The executives also met with representatives of the direct foreign investment consulting firm Sifdi; the international business hub for Europe and Latin America, Madrid Platform; and the Chile-Spain Foundation, a business and private sector entity that is seeking to increase economic, cultural, academic-scientific and social exchanges between the two countries.
The next area of interest was energy companies. The Managing Director of InvestChile and head of the Investment Promotion Division met with executives from Audax Renovables, a company with a presence in seven European countries. They showed an interest in learning about opportunities in Chile in the areas of both generation and sales.
The executives also met with representatives of Enagás and Acciona. The companies GNL Quintero, ACCIONA Energía and Enagás have formed a partnership to develop an electrolysis plant in Bahía de Quintero to produce green hydrogen from water (H20), and also renewable electricity. The operation of the “Bahía Quintero Green Hydrogen” project will have a nominal capacity of 10 MW.
Finally, it was the turn of another company with a presence in Chile. Abertis is the largest highway operator in Chile in terms of traffic volume. It manages over 770 kilometers directly and indirectly through its affiliate VíasChile. Abertis Mobility Services is the Abertis Group’s technology services division; it hopes to continue to grow in Chile.
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