Chile-based Codelco has awarded the consortium led by Marubeni Corporation the development, construction and operation of a desalination plant and its complementary infrastructure to supply water to the Chuquicamata, Radomiro Tomic and Ministro Hales divisions, which will allow the company to gradually increase the use of seawater with respect to the use of mountain range water in all its operations located in Calama, city in the Atacama Desert, in northern Chile.
The project includes a seawater desalination plant with an initial design of 840 l/s, with an expansion potential of 1,956 l/s, which comprises a water impulsion system that will cover more than 160 kilometres, pipelines and the necessary electrical infrastructure to pump the water to a height of more than 3,000 meters. The pipelines will start south of the city of Tocopilla and will reach the industrial water reservoir for the supply of desalinated water in the Radomiro Tomic Division.
The tender was awarded to the consortium led by Marubeni Corporation (50%), also formed by Transelec (30%) and Techint Chile (20%). Techint Chile will be in charge of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), while operations and maintenance will be led by the Aguas Nuevas-IDE-Transelec consortium.
It is expected for the construction to begin the first trimester of 2020 and the plant to be operational in 2022.