Category A projects could result in potentially significant environmental and/or social risks and impacts, which are diverse, irreversible, or unprecedented that may extend beyond the boundaries of the actual project site or facilities. In principle, Category A includes projects which have significant impacts on protected or sensitive areas21 and/ or vulnerable groups.
Water and Sanitation
Projected date at which a project will be put forward for the Board of Executive Directors’ approval.
Projected board date
Project on hold
Project scope and objective
The Project involves the development, construction and operation of a seawater desalination plant, its associated marine intake and outfall structures, a water pumping system of approximately 160 km in length, and the associated electrical infrastructure.
The desalination plant (DP), which will include pre-treatment, reverse osmosis and post-treatment associated works, will have a design flow rate of 1,956 liters per second (l/s). Desalinated water will be transported from this facility via an underground pipeline system of approximately 160 km in length and pumped through four pumping stations to an industrial water reservoir located on the grounds of the Radomiro Tomic Division [División Radomiro Tomic] (DRT), near the mine of the same name, where the water will be used.
The intended purpose of the martime works is to capture seawater and discharge the brine derived from the desalination process. The seawater will be taken in via a system comprised of two towers (which include a sodium hypochlorite injection system and an anti-jellyfish air injection system), two pipelines, and the bilge, located on land, from which the seawater will be pumped to the desalinization plant. The discharge structure will be comprised of a load chamber, the discharge pipes and a diffuser located at the end of the pipeline.
The total cost of the Project is estimated in one billion US$ dollars.
The place where the DP will be located has practically no vegetation, as it is situated in the desertic region of Chile's Norte Grande. Nevertheless, flora records show the presence of 15 species of vascular plants, all of them native, from which two have conservation status: Eulychnia iquiquensis (vulnerable), and Solanum sitiens (vulnerable and rare). As to wildlife, records show the presence of the Constanza's tree iguana (Liolaemus constanzae(, the Golden-spotted ground dove (Metriopelia aymara), the Culpeo fox (Lycalopex culpaeus), the Lima leaf-eared mouse (Phyllotis limatus), the Mountain caracara (Phalcoboenus megalopterus), and the Plain-mantled tit-spinetail (Leptasthenura aegithaloides), all considered "least concern" species.
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