debuts with a shortage of large investments

Enthusiasm exists, although the signs are not very favorable at the starting point of the new Regin de Uble, which officially starts on September 6th. "We are the second poorest region in the country and the backyard of Biobo," says the deputy of the presidential candidate, Martn Arrau, following the speech that the Ubleinsians distributed for decades to ask for their political and administrative separation from the Reginar. del Biobo.

With 16.1% of the population in poverty according to income, it is only surpassed by La Araucana (17.2%). With unemployment, the picture is not better: it reached 8.6% and was in second place at the national level, where Atacama is in charge.

Overcoming this condition is the challenge for the smallest of the region's of the country, populated by 469,594 people divided into 21 municipalities, 38.8% in Chilln, the capital.

ublensino of origin, Arrau, whose name sounds like the most likely mayor, emphasizes: "in the short term we have to get the greatest number of Ubleins out of poverty".

The generation of new labor sources is urgent, and therefore, he says, the measures will be aimed at attracting investments and accelerating projects in portfolio and demand labor.

The current situation shows that there are no large private investment projects and even the few existing projects already approved with RCA show delays at the start of the works.

At the level of the state, the two large ones, the La Punilla reservoir in Coihueco, already expected by the farmers for decades, and the huge Uble Regional Hospital in Chilln, with 530 beds, they have a lot to work on the first quarter of 2019.

The private portfolio, marked by energy

Only a year ago, when the installation of the new region began, private projects, especially in the energy sector, determined expectations. Changes in market conditions, with the price of energy that has declined, will have influenced, however, that the largest energy projects are not running. It happened with the hydroelectric uble (see map), which announced a postponement at the end of May for 180 days from the start of the works.

In the case of the gas plant El Campesino, there has been a confrontation with environmental groups that oppose the project by means of actions before the court. A few days ago, the Supreme Court decided to declare a source of cassation of the commission inadmissible without thermoelectric power, "which had previously made another legal action for the Environmental Court of Valdivia without success. the company starts the work in 2018.

Otherwise, the situation of the gas-thermoelectric power station Las Arcillas, with an investment of USD 400 million, of which Engie chooses to have the initiative approved in April with RCA. According to reports, there is no decision because they focus today. in solar and elica energies.

In the land register of projects in the framework of the Ministry of Energy, there are almost 40 initiatives and more than half correspond to solar generation, mini-hydro and non-conventional renewable energy (such as biomass of agriculture and forestry), with investments ranging between US $ 3 million and US $ 38 million. There is one under construction and two are in use, while the rest is with environmental approval or qualification. According to the Minister of Energy, Susana Jimnez, there is a lot of potential in the area: "the new Regin de Uble has a breeze from Ninhue to the coast, in Cobquecura, which makes it possible to incorporate projects of elica generation and the to diversify the current energy matrix ".

"It's a bad debut, but it's an opportunity"

Reversing the scenario of unfounded private and government investment and approval of projects are the spearheads of the Uble Development Corporation (Coruble). The president, Patricio Poblete, recognizes that expectations have fallen sharply in the aftermath of Biobo's final separation. As far as investments are concerned, he admits: "It's a bad debut, but we Ublendsians do not want to be based on historical indicators, we believe it's also an opportunity to improve levels of poverty and unemployment."

Coruble – which brings together guilds, companies, trade, agriculture, professionals and the academic world – aims to diversify the productive matrix to agro-industry, tourism, viticulture, environmentally friendly energies and technological development.

"We need to go one step further than attracting new productive investments to generate new jobs, it is imperative that the regional government focuses resources on productive development that contributes to the efficiency and productivity of small regional producers," says Poblete.

"In any case, we have been waiting for 70 years on the reservoir of Punilla and we are still not starting to work", he says, although it is a priority project for agricultural irrigation that will improve the quality of life of rural residents.

He hopes that the plan, announced by President Sebastin Piera – with a 40-day deadline – after attending the birth of O & # 39; Higgins, will be translated into immediate measures that create the conditions for improving road infrastructure. . He says that this will attract investment in the area and at the same time many local farmers will come out of isolation and difficulties to get their products out.

The various trade unions, he says, are convinced that it is necessary to allocate special public funds to the new region, which recognizes the indicators of poverty and unemployment that characterize this.

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