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The first to be offered to the private sector at the beginning of next year will be the Las Palmas reservoir in the Petorca district of Valparaiso region (V), minister of public works Alberto Undurraga was reported as announcing by local daily La Tercera.
"They are five [reservoirs] involving investments of US1bn, of which we would like to do at least four in 2017]. This has already been defined with the finance ministry and they will be put out to tender next year. Starting with Las Palmas," said Undurraga.
The Las Palmas dam will have the capacity to store up to 55Mm3 of water from the Petorca river for the irrigation of 3,281ha of land.
Other reservoirs being prioritized under the concessions model include the Catemu reservoir in the basin of the Aconcagua river and the Los Angeles reservoir in the La Ligua river basin, both in Valparaiso region. While the Muralla Vieja reservoir in Combarbalá and the Las Trancas reservoir in the Cogotí river basin are to be built in the Coquimbo region (IV).
The announcement of the concession of reservoirs comes in response to reduced funds for these types of project due to the low price of copper.
Undurraga added that, with these investments, "we will be building more infrastructure for water than ever before in the history of Chile."