The contract is worth US$63.5 million (45 million euros approx.) and the facility will have an initial capacity of 17,000 m3/day, eventually increasing to a maximum of 52,000 m3/day.
The desalination plant will be built near the Port of Punto Totoralillo, one of several owned by CAP Minería in Atacama. It will be located 25km north of the city of Caldera, 82km from the mining operations in Cerro Negro Norte and 120km from the group's Planta Magnetita operations, in the area known as Tierra Amarilla (literally "Yellow Earth").
The Atacama Desert, while rich in mineral resources, is considered one of the most arid regions on the planet and the Copiapó valley has more than 60 mining operations driving the local economy, accounting for nearly 50% of the region's GDP.
Acciona has previously built four wastewaterplants in Chile, including Valdivia (total capacity: 25,000 m3/ day), Osorno (total capacity: 40,000 m3/day), La Ligua (total capacity: 5,000 m3/ day) and Temuco (total capacity: 158,000 m3/day).