Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Company has begun expanding its seawater desalination business beyond the Middle East to the Central and South American markets.
On August 25, Doosan announced that it will build a US$130 million reverse osmosis (RO) type seawater desalination plant to make fresh water for mining in the world’s largest copper mine in Escondida, Chile.
Doosan recently registered a notice to proceed (NTP) with the requesting American engineering company B&V (Black & Veatch). This is Doosan’s first desalination plant order in Central and South America.
The Escondida seawater desalination plant makes about 22,000 tons of fresh water, which can be used by 55,000 people per day. Doosan is in charge of supplying the tools and materials and testing the plant, and plans to start making fresh water by mid-2016. The fresh water will be made in the desalination plant near the coast of Antofagasta in northern Chile and delivered through 180km of pipes to the Escondida mines, 3km in altitude.
Doosan competed against Degremont of France, Valoriza Agua and Acciona of Spain, IDE of Israel, and other global leading industries to get this order. Doosan Water Business Unit CEO Yoon Seok-won said, “This project means a lot to us in that our technology and competitiveness have been proven in other regions than the Middle East,” and added, “With the mining industry growing in the Central and South American markets including Chile, the business of seawater desalination for mining will continue to grow and be a good source of business.”