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The company says that it aims to bring world-class desalination experience coupled with environmental awareness to the drought-stricken region of Chile.

Israel: IDE Technologies has been awarded by Aguas Pacífico SpA the EPC contract for the Aconcagua Desalination Plant. The project includes the engineering, supply, construction, start-up, and commissioning of a seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant with a nominal production capacity of 86,400 m3/day (1,000 liters per second), that will be located in the bay of Quintero in the Valparaíso Region, Chile. The plant will be the first drought-proof source of freshwater in the Aconcagua basin to serve municipal, agricultural, industrial, and mining clients in the region.

“IDE presented the best offer both technically and economically to Aguas Pacífico, an investment vehicle of Patria Investments Infrastructure Fund, after the successful conclusion of a highly competitive international tender process for the Aconcagua Project’s EPC contract. Project Aconcagua is the first permanent, secure and sustainable multi-client non-continental freshwater source in Chile’s Valparaíso Region,” stated Enrique Cruzat, CEO of Aguas Pacífico.

IDE’s experience encompasses hundreds of desalination plants worldwide, with more than 20 successfully operating in Chile since 1990, including the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 desalination project scheduled to be completed next year. IDE’s innovative, state-of-the-art design of the Aconcagua Desalination Plant will be in accordance with the stringent environmental requirements and regulations in Chile.

“The Aconcagua award is a statement to our decades of experience, and mission to deliver superior results to our clients in the design and construction of desalination facilities in Chile,” said Miki Tramer, VP, Sales and Marketing for IDE. “We look forward to partnering with Aguas Pacífico SpA in other regions of the country that will benefit from this type of multi-client desalination plant.”

Exclusive: In Conversation With IDE Spokesperson…

By Mayur Sharma

Q. Please take us through the background story of this overall project so far and your involvement in it. How did you get this contract?

IDE Spokesperson: IDE is fortunate to have a significant 20-year history of providing reliable desalination technology for multiple industries in Chile. Given our proven track record in the region, we are thrilled to continue this leadership position with such an impactful project that will not only serve citizens, but also the mining and power industries that operate in the area.

AguasPacifico chose IDE to provide the engineering, procurement, and construction of the plant following a thorough, transparent, and competitive bidding process, aimed at ensuring water security for the region, despite growing threats of drought.

Q. About the Aconcagua SWRO plant, we are hearing that it will be the first drought-proof source of fresh water in the Aconcagua basin. Can you elaborate on that? What are the short-term and long-term benefits?

IDE Spokesperson: Absolutely. The central and north regions of Chile have long suffered from a lack of freshwater resources but support a slew of industries that rely on freshwater to operate, such as livestock, produce farming, and various types of mining. These industries are often competing with municipalities that must provide potable water for citizens as well. By pulling in seawater desalination, each of these parties is significantly less reliant on surface and groundwater resources.

In the short term, we can expect to see stark relief for all parties involved in this competition for limited freshwater resources. In terms of long-term impact, drought will no longer be an issue, as seawater desalination can be pulled in despite rainfall levels, excessive heat, or even climate change, and the country’s economy can prosper without concerns pertaining to lack of freshwater.

Q. Please share insights on how Chile will benefit from this type of multi-client desalination plant?

IDE Spokesperson: Multi-client desalination plants are common in many countries of the world, like Israel, Spain, and the Gulf countries to name a few, and just like in these regions – this technology will benefit the entire population and economic growth of Chile. For decades, mining companies in the Northern regions of the country have relied on aquifers and snowmelt to operate, while local farmers have been struggling with less runoff due to climate change. Chile is uniquely positioned as much of its economy relies on the use of freshwater, yet the country has significant ocean access that has not yet been used to its full potential.

By shifting reliance away from depleted aquifers and onto desalinated water, the country’s economic sectors will no longer be forced to rely on adequate rainfall and snowmelt in some of the world’s driest regions, in order to operate. There’s no doubt that the Aconcagua SWRO plant will be a critical asset for the entire country: not only will it mollify decades of tense competition, it will also allow the local economy to prosper without depleting natural resources and harming the land.

IDE Technologies specializes in the development, engineering, construction, and operation of some of the world’s largest and most advanced thermal and membrane desalination facilities and industrial water treatment plants. IDE partners with a wide range of customers – municipalities, oil & gas, mining, refineries, and power plants – on all aspects of water projects and delivers approximately 3 million m3/day of high-quality water worldwide.

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