PSD has dispatched 2 No. 400m3/hr slurry treatment plants, plus a heavy duty S4-1G centrifuge and flocculation system to support CSM Bessac's tunnel boring machines for the Escondida Water Supply project in Chile. The project involves the construction of intake & outfall tunnels for a desalination plant that will supply water at 2500 litres per second to support the expansion of the world's largest copper mine. Tunnelling will be carried out in highly abrasive diorite or gabbro.
Escondida is located at 3100m above sea level, 170km south east of Antofagasta in Chile, the mine is owned by BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto & JECO and is operated by BHP Billiton. The project also involves the construction of 4 high pressure pumping stations, a reservoir at the mine and high voltage infrastructure to support the installation. The system is intended to provide a sustainable water supply for the mine, minimising its reliance on aquifers and should be commissioned in 2017.