Chilean Mine and Energy Minister Karen Poniachik said on Friday that Chile will end its dependence on neighboring Argentina for natural gas by 2008.
"In late 2008, Chile will leave behind natural gas dependency on Argentina, because we will have our own liquefied natural gas plant," Poniachik told local media, adding that by 2010, Chile could even have a surplus of energy, thanks to all the projects currently being developed.
The minister rejected the idea that Chile was going through an energy crisis due to lower Argentine natural gas exports, saying that Chile was ready to start using alternative fuels if exports decrease further.
"In terms of security, we are better off than before; we are not worried about natural gas shortages, but about the expenses of using substitute fuels," she said.
Poniachik added that Chile would not experience electricity rationing, neither short-term nor long-term, especially not in residential areas.