Peru Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources, energy and environment

Peru has major mineral resources and is one of the world’s leading producers of copper, zinc, silver and gold. Oil production has been around for a long time, but in recent times natural gas has played a bigger role. Both the mining and oil industries cause serious environmental problems.

Mineral reserves are large and most of the assets are still untouched. In addition to the dominant export products, Peru also has good assets on lead, tin, bismuth, molybdenum and iron ore. The copper and zinc mine Antamina in the Andes is one of the largest in the world.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Peru with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

Gold mining takes place in a number of places. Yanacocha in the north is the largest gold mine in South America and one of the largest in the world. Around a fifth of the gold in Peru is believed to be illegally mined. It is happening not least in Madre de Dios in the south-east, a jungle region that has become a poster name in the world for deforestation and environmental degradation. Previous rainforests have been replaced here with a desert landscape with toxic ponds, characterized by organized crime, human trafficking and prostitution.

The mining industry was previously run mainly by Western companies, but since the turn of the millennium, Chinese-owned mining companies have also invested heavily in Peruvian mines.

Peru was the first country in Latin America with oil recovery, the first oil well was drilled as early as 1863. The extraction takes place both in the Amazon and partly offshore. The recovery culminated in the early 1980s but then fell for a long number of years, although it has now increased again.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, PE stands for Peru. Visit itypeusa for more information about Peru.

Instead, natural gas extraction has grown substantially and is now more important than oil. Foreign companies began to extract gas from the large Camisea field in the rainforest in the Cusco region in the south in 2004. From Camisea, two pipelines go to the coast.

Peru, despite its own assets, has to import higher quality crude oil to cover energy consumption, but more and more domestic natural gas is being used. Fossil fuels account for almost half of the electricity produced, and hydropower for just over half. Other renewable energy sources have so far played a relatively modest role.

Mining takes place in open pit mines, which causes major damage to the landscape. The handling has also led to environmentally hazardous emissions and there are regular protests against the mining companies’ operations. The oil companies’ attempts to find new sources of oil have also triggered clashes with local groups who are worried about their local environment. In some cases, the protests have been so extensive that operations have either been stopped or put on ice. The small-scale illegal extraction also negatively impacts the environment through the use of mercury and cyanide.


Energy use per person

768 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)

Electricity consumption per person

1308 kWh, kWh (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions in total

61 745 thousand tonnes (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

2.0 tonnes (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

25.5 percent (2015)



The Minister of Justice resigns

Justice Minister Gustavo Adrianzén leaves his post and thus avoids being subjected to a distrust vote in Congress. The reason is that he dismissed a prosecutor who led an investigation against President Humala’s wife Nadine Heredia and the Nationalist Party. Heredia is accused of receiving over $ 200,000 from unknown source several years ago, while the husband is alleged to have received illegal funding from Venezuelan companies. The money is suspected to have been used for Humala’s election campaign. Adrianzén says he lacked confidence in the prosecutor’s work. He is the sixth Minister of Justice since Humala took office.


Violent in environmental protest against copper projects

Four people are killed in violent protests against the construction of a plant that will refine copper. The protesters fear that the building will lead to pollution of water and land. The plant is located at an altitude of 4,000 meters in the Apurímac region and is run by a Chinese company and represents a huge investment that is expected to increase the country’s GDP by 1.4 percent in 2016. As a result of the protests, state permits are announced in six provinces.


Guerrilla leaders are reported to be arrested

Authorities state that two Sendero Luminoso leaders have been arrested in Vraem. Stocks of explosives and weapons should have been seized near a gas pipeline that runs between a natural gas field and Lima.


Addicted people are released

The army says it has saved 39 people, 26 of them children, from a farm where they were kept as slaves by Sendero Luminoso. Some of the adults state that they have been kept on the farm for 30 years and forced to work in the fields.


The state of emergency is lifted after arrest

Police arrest Neymer Keni Maldonado, who is reported to be the logistics manager of the guerrilla Sendero Luminoso. Weapons and ammunition are also found at the strike in San Martín in the north. On the same day that Maldonado is arrested, President Humala rescinded the 30-year state of emergency in the upper Huallaga, located in San Martín.

The President is given special powers

Following a request from President Humala, Congress gives the government special powers for 90 days, so that a series of financial and security decisions can be taken. This applies to, among other things, simplified bureaucracy and better conditions for private investors, some liberalization of the electricity market, trade facilitation, increased customs security and improved access to housing. The purpose is to increase investment and boost the economy. There are signs that a clearing is underway: in April, the economy grew by 4.25 percent, which was the highest figure in 13 months. Tighter penalties are also expected for, among other things, contract killings and extortion.


State of emergency following protests against mining projects

A state of emergency is announced in the Islay province after a protester was killed in connection with a protest against the disputed mining project Tía María, which is again relevant (see April 2010 and April 2011). In total, four people have now been killed during a couple of months of protests.


PPK is appointed presidential candidate

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (known as PPK) is the only candidate when the Peruvian Party for Change (PPK) nominates its candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

New chief minister appointed

President Humala appoints former Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano as chief minister. Humala challenges the opposition with this its seventh prime minister; Cateriano, who has been Minister of Defense for three years, is something of a red flag for the president’s political opponents. A vote of confidence will be held against Cateriano and if Congress votes against him, the president may dissolve the assembly.


Chief Minister dismissed after spying revelation

March 30

The Correo Semanal magazine publishes a list of a large number of citizens whose intelligence service Dini is said to have collected for several years. These are politicians, journalists, businessmen and military, as well as relatives of many of them. The disclosure leads to Prime Minister Jara kicking Dini’s boss as well as the head of counter-espionage and several other highly-regarded intelligence operations. But the opposition claims that Ana Jara should have had better control over the intelligence business and is announcing a vote of no confidence which will end with her dismissal. It is the first time in half a century that Congress has set aside a prime minister.

Violent protests against expensive electricity notes

Around 10,000 people embark on a “far-reaching strike” in and around Andahuaylas, the regional capital of Apurímac. They block off roads in protest of the local electricity supplier having paid too much of around a quarter of its more than 40,000 customers. The barriers lead to food shortages occurring in certain areas and to violent clashes with police. After four days, the central government is forced to start negotiations. At the same time, the strike is spreading to the neighboring province of Chincheros. After talks with Prime Minister Ana Jara and Minister of Energy and Mining Rosa María Ortiz, representatives of the protesters sign an agreement on eight points, and the strike ends. Among other things, Jara promises to present a bill on contributions to electricity bills for poor and marginalized families.

Ex-minister charged with murder

Daniel Urresti, who just left the post of Secretary of the Interior, is charged with murdering a journalist in 1988, when he was Army general. Two soldiers have been convicted of the murder, but one of them has accused Urresti of being involved. The journalist was shot dead while investigating human rights abuses.


The President accuses Chile of spying

President Humala accuses Chile of spying since three lower-level naval officers have been arrested and charged with selling secretly stamped material to the neighboring country. It would be “very serious” for the bilateral relations, says the president, who invites former presidents Alejandro Toledo and Alan García as well as opposition leader Keiko Fujimori to inform them of the alleged espionage. In March, the ambassador is called home from Chile.

Protests drive away oil companies

One person is killed and about 20 injured when police drive back protesters who stormed a military base in the Amazon. The base is used as a storage site by an Argentine oil company, Pluspetrol, which is looking for natural gas in the area. It is mainly indigenous people who are behind the protests against fear of environmental degradation. After several days of unrest, Pluspetrol decides to leave the area.

Peru Energy and Environment Facts

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