Chile readies US$600mn Punilla reservoir tender

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chile is making final preparations to launch a tender for the construction of US$600mn multi-purpose Punilla reservoir, public works minister (MOP) Alberto Undurraga said.

"We're correcting documents following some comments made by the audit office," Undurraga said at an infrastructure financing conference.

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"The most important thing about this reservoir is not the project itself but that we will validate the reservoir concession system," he added.

In February, MOP launched the prequalification process for bids for Punilla, a project likely to be financed by the government, local farmers and a private concessionaire.

MOP expects to launch the tender before year end.

The Punilla project is designed to meet the water needs of farmers in the Ñuble river basin, doubling the amount of irrigated land to over 60,000ha.

It also includes a power component, a 94MW hydro power plant.

The 600Mm3 reservoir would be located 30km from San Fabián de Alico, in southern Biobío region (VIII).

Undurraga said the current administration plans to start building seven new reservoirs, including Punilla, before leaving office in 2018.