Escondida desalination is first Doosan job in Latin America

Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction announced its first seawater desalination plant project in the Latin American market on 25 August 2013.

The company has received a notice to proceed on a US$ 103 million contract to construct a seawater reverse-osmosis (RO) desalination plant for industrial use at the Escondida Mine, the world’s largest copper mine, in Chile.

The Escondida seawater desalination plant will have a combined daily output of about 220,000 m³/d, sufficient for the daily water requirements of approximately 550,000 people, making it the largest RO type project to be constructed in the Latin American region.

Although Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction has won orders for close to 30 large-scale seawater desalination plant projects in the Middle East thus far, this is the first time that it has secured a project in a region other than the Middle East. It won the project in an international bid after fierce competition with Valoriza Agua and Acciona of Spain, both of which have already established a presence in the Chilean market, Degrémont of France and IDE Technologies of Israel.

Under the deal, Doosan will take charge of the supply and installation of the plant’s facilities and equipment as well as supervision for erection and commissioning. It will start the project next month, and production of water is expected towards the end of 2016. Produced at the desalination plant in a coastal area in the state of Antofagasta in northern Chile, the water will be supplied to the Escondida Mine, located approximately 3,000 m above sea‑level, via a 180 km pipeline.

Seokwon Yun, CEO of the Water Business Group at Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, said, “The award has provided an opportunity for Doosan to demonstrate its competitiveness and capabilities in a new region. As the Latin American market, including Chile, is expected to show robust growth in the industrial desalination sector resulting from continued rise of the mining industry, we expect additional orders in the future.”