Peru building Lima's first desalination plant

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017

A Spanish concessionaire began construction on Lima's first desalination plant, part of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's bid to increase public spending in water infrastructure.

The 308mn-sol (US$95mn) Provisur project in Lima's Santa María district will benefit 100,000 residents in four seaside districts on the southern outskirts of the capital, state water utility Sedapal said in a statement.

The 24-month initiative involves the 400lt/sec desalination plant, 260km of piping, a 180lt/sec sewerage treatment plant and a 780m underwater discharge pipeline, according to Sedapal. The facility will cover the districts of Punta Hermosa, Punta Negra, San Bartolo and Santa María, which will no longer have to buy water from tanker trucks.

The government seeks to further develop desalination technology in desert cities such as Lima after global warming was blamed for drought last year. Nexa Resources unit Milpo brought online the country's first desalination plant at its Cerro Lindo zinc-lead mine in 2005, while Shougang Hierro Perú is building another plant at its iron mine, both in Ica region.

"It's a historic project. It's the first plant in Peru to desalinize seawater for domestic use," state news agency Andina cited housing and construction minister Carlos Bruce as saying. "We hope soon we'll see many desalination plants all along our coastline, because it's a technology the ministry is interested in promoting."

The government awarded the 25-year concession in 2014 to Desaladora del Sur, a consortium made up of Spain's Tedagua and Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios.

Sedapal, which has yet to provide services to 100% of the capital city's 10mn population, has lined up a 20bn-sol (US$6bn) portfolio of about 200 potable water and sewerage projects over the next five years.

Kuczynski, who met with infrastructure investors at the APEC summit in Vietnam last month, has embarked on a 50bn-sol drive to extend potable water and sewerage services to 100% of the population by 2021.


In other water infrastructure news, Caracas-based multilateral lender CAF approved a US$98mn loan for the Majes-Siguas II irrigation project in Arequipa region.

The loan will enable the US$550mn-project to add 38,500ha of arable land through the construction of the Angostura dam and 16km Angostura-Colca tunnel, CAF said in a statement.

A consortium made up of Cobra and Peruvian construction firm Cosapi signed a contract for the initiative in 2015.

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