Chilean Environmental Authority green lights LATAM's largest desal plant

Sept. 27, 2018
ENAPAC is one of the largest and most advanced solar powered desalination projects in the world.  
The multi-client project will provide desalinated water for industrial clients in the Atacama region of Chile.

SANTIAGO, CHILE, SEPT 26, 2018 -- The Environmental Impact Study of the project ENAPAC (which stands for Energías y Aguas del Pacífico, in Spanish) located in the Atacama Region in Chile, has been by the Environmental Evaluation Commission, the local environmental government authority, after more than a year of environmental evaluation from the Environmental Evaluation Service which recommended to approve ENAPAC's EIA completely.

The project consists on a seawater desalination project that will be supplied with it's own source of photovoltaic energy, for the desertic and mining region of Atacama in Chile. With an estimated initial investment of USD 500 million ENAPAC will become the largest desalination plant in Latin America for it's maximum capacity of 2.630 liters per second, and will also be the first multi- client, the only large-scale solar powered with a projected 100 MW photovoltaic plant and a water reservoir with 600,000 cubic meters of capacity. Thus, ENAPAC will be one of the most advanced projects in the world with a combination of reverse osmosis desalination and photovoltaic energy.

Rodrigo Silva, TRENDS Industrial's CEO, commented: "The environmental approval of ENAPAC is a very important milestone for the project and for the Atacama Region. The project will generate opportunities for local employment and suppliers, and our vision is that many users can access a sustainable and clean source of water ceasing the use of continental waters and the basins of the region, which suffers from a severe water stress. The response from the industrial sector, especially mining projects, has been very positive and we're advancing conversations with many companies. Certainly we predict the EIA approval will accelerate those conversations and agreements".

ENAPAC was more than a year in the process of environmental evaluation from Chilean authorities and is part of the list managed by the Office of Sustainable Projects Management of the Chilean government Ministry of Economy. The project is nominated for the world's most important Design and Sustainability award, the Design to Improve Life INDEX AWARD 2019, also known as the "Nobel prize of Design", which is sponsored by the Danish crown, and is also nominated for the Latin American Association of Desalination and Water Reuse ALADYR Awards 2018 in the "Best Desalination Project" category.