The country’s first multipurpose project aims to supply sectors of Antofagasta and Calama that historically have not had this vital resource, as well as supply the industry. Company proposes to reactivate and promote agriculture in the desert.
Maritime waters is the name of the multipurpose project that seeks to supply desalinated water to different areas of the Antofagasta region that historically have not had drinking water and sewerage, as well as to provide for the industrial, mining and agricultural sectors.
“The project is going to mark a before and after in the region and country” indicated from Exponor 2022, Hugo Lecaros, Manager of Corporate Affairs at Cramsa.
“It will be developed with deep respect for the environment. In the first place, with the choice of the place where the desalination plant will be built: outside the Moreno Bay and outside the urban radius of the city of Antofagasta. The burying of all of its pipes, decisions agreed with the communities, an architecture that respects its environment, technological and engineering solutions that have been successfully tested worldwide, and all of this with strict adherence to the current environmental institutions,” he explained.
For its part, Aurora Williams, manager of the Mining Cluster Corporation and member of the Cramsa board of directors, indicated that “this is the first multipurpose desalination plant in the country and it will mark a significant milestone. I want to highlight Cramsa’s high commitment to the Antofagasta region by making early citizen participations with residents of Chiu Chiu, Calama, Baquedano, Coloso and Antofagasta. This establishes a real link with the territory.”
The Chilean company participated in the International Exhibition of Technologies and Innovations for the Mining and Energy Industry (expose) 2022, with a stand located in front of the copper pavilion and which was attended by the Minister of Mining and the Undersecretary of Public Works.
Maritime waters contemplates the construction of a desalination plant in the Caleta Bolfin sector, located 15 kilometers south of the urban limit of Antofagasta.
With this network of 510 km of aqueducts, it will reach sectors of the communes of Antofagasta and Calama where the sanitary concessions do not currently operate. Such is the case of the La Negra Industrial District, the northern zone of the Antofagasta commune (as it is the same Exponor sector) and the urban area of the city of Calama, for example, the industrial areas of Puerto Seco.
Arturo Basadre, president of the La Negra Industrial and Business Center (CIEM), expressed: “water is life. We have been for 20 years hoping to be able to tell the vital resource. Now with Cramsa we are closer than ever to fulfilling this great dream”.
From the company, they explained that the project is possible “thanks to the large consumers of water, such as mining. Their consumption is what will allow Cramsa to obtain profitable savings, so that the prices of drinking water are accessible to the beneficiary communities. Thanks to large consumers we will be able to look to the future with optimism”.
“With this, Cramsa is in a position to offer a new life to those who now live without water and without sewage. Let’s think of greener cities, in the recovery of ecosystems, in agriculture, in the desert and in everything that the human mind allows us to imagine with water, ”she added.
Construction of Aguas Marítimas is projected to begin in 2024, an initiative that will generate 8,500 jobs and an investment of US$ 5 billion. Meanwhile, by 2027 it is expected to pour the first liters of desalinated water, which in its first phase will distribute 350,000 m3/day, increasing to 700,000 m3/day at the end of construction.
agriculture in the desert
Cramsa was one of the companies participating in the seminar Investment Projects and Challenges in Energy and Waterdeveloped on the third day of Exponor 2022.
In his speech he raised the question: Why not make the Antofagasta region the orchard of Chile? Emphasizing that it has the right climate and territory, but not enough water.
“Water will be a reality with Cramsa. There are experiences at the international level that open our eyes and tell us that it can also be done here” explained Lecaros.