ENAPAC solar-powered desalination project clears environmental hurdle in Chile

The Energias y Aguas del Pacifico (ENAPAC) solar powered desalination project in the Atacama Region of Chile has reached another milestone, with the local government signing off the all-important Environmental Impact Study (EIS).

TRENDS Industrial, which is developing the project, said the Environmental Evaluation Commission recommended approving the EIS.

The ENAPAC project consists of a seawater desalination project that will be supplied with its own source of photovoltaic energy, for the mining region of Atacama. With an estimated initial investment of $500 million, ENAPAC will become the largest desalination plant in Latin America. It will have a maximum capacity of 2.630 l/s, a projected 100 MW of installed photovoltaic power and a water reservoir with 600,000 m³ capacity.

“Thus, ENAPAC will be one of the most advanced projects in the world with a combination of reverse osmosis desalination and photovoltaic energy,” TRENDS said.

Rodrigo Silva, TRENDS Industrial’s CEO, said: “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 EIS approval will accelerate those conversations and agreements.”

The environmental evaluation from Chilean authorities for ENAPAC took more than a year and is part of the list managed by the Office of Sustainable Projects Management of the Chilean Ministry of Econom, TRENDS said.

Back in June, TRENDS Industrial signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Almar Water Solutions to develop the ENAPAC project