Construction of the facility, which includes an intake building and processing facility in the southern part of the city, will require an investment of some US$120mn.
A 5.7m-high, 10m-diameter intake 23m below sea level will capture seawater, which will be transferred via a 934m pipeline to the intake building, located on the beachfront near Universidad de Antofagasta's Coloso campus.
From the building, a 1.2km pipeline will transfer water to the reverse osmosis plant, which will produce 1,000l/s of potable water. The plant will have capacity to store 5,000m3 of treated water.
Treated water will be transferred from the plant to the utility's Amarillos storage tanks via a 2.4km pipeline, also to be built in three stretches. Aguas de Antofagasta will distribute water via its existing networks.
If the EIA is approved, the utility will tender the project in February 2012. Construction is slated to begin by July next year and wrap up by July 2014.
The company submitted a previous EIA for the project in January this year.