Chile: desalination project powered by 100 MW of solar gets initial financing

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Chile-based Trends Industrial and Saudi company Almar Water Solutions, part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy & Environmental Services (ALJ), which is itself the parent company of solar project developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to carry out a large-scale desalination plant powered by solar in the Atacama region of Chile.

Almar has now become an investor in the project, which requires a base investment of $500 million.

Enapac consists of a seawater desalination project that will be supplied with its own source of PV energy. It is the largest planned desalination plant in Latin America, with a maximum capacity of 2,600 l/s, and will also be the first project of this “multi-client” type, the only one with a large-scale solar power plant (100 MW) and one of the most advanced projects in the world that combines desalination by reverse osmosis and photovoltaic energy.

Environmental evaluation for the project is expected to take around one year, so a favorable resolution is expected during the second half of 2018. In addition, the project has been awarded the Award for Design to Improve Life, sometimes known as the “Nobel Prize for Design”, awarded by the Danish crown.

Rodrigo Silva, general director of Trends Industrial, and Carlos Cosín, general director of Almar Water Solutions, sealed the agreement committing to seek the economic and technical realization of the project through the strategic partnership of both companies.

The Enapas project is part of the list managed by the Office of Management of Sustainable Projects of the Ministry of Economy of the Chilean government and both executives visited today the Chilean Minister of Economy, José Ramón Valente, and his team to present the status of the project, as well as the credentials of the companies that will develop the initiative.