Chilean company Trends Industrial and UAE-based Almar Water Solutions have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a $500m solar-powered desalination plant for the Atacama region in Chile.
The project, Enapac, will be the first multi-client desalination plant in Chile and the largest in Latin America. It will be first large-scale reverse osmosis desalination plant powered by photovoltaic energy.
Almar has an equity interest in the project and the MoU specifies a further Joint Development Agreement for the completion of Enapac.
Trends Industrial CEO Rodrigo Silva said: “The MoU comes to consolidate the work of several years in which we have developed a sustainable project from the socio-environmental point of view, as well as from the economic perspective for the advantages of the multiclient model of Enapac, in which economies of scale are taken advantage of, reduces the impact on the territory and improves efficiency, as we have been seeing in large-scale mining projects in Chile, which have opted for collaboration.”
Almar Water Solutions CEO Carlos Cosín said: “This alliance consolidates Almar’s interest in developing innovative and state-of-the-art technology projects combining desalination with solar energy, while at the same time sealing our commitment to the long-term success of the Enapac project, particularly with its potential clients to whom we can ensure the reliability of the water supply, which is so urgently needed in Atacama and for which we hope that Enapac will help alleviate, in part, the severe water scarcity in the region.”
The seawater desalination project will be supplied with its own source of photovoltaic energy. Enapac will be the largest desalination plant in Chile and Latin America with a maximum capacity of 2.600 litres per second.
The Chilean authorities are likely to issue environmental clearance for Enapac during the second half of 2018.
Also, the project has been nominated for the Design and Sustainability award, the Design to Improve Life INDEX AWARD, which is sponsored by the Danish crown.