Chilean water utility Aguas Antofagasta plans to keep expanding its desalination capacity both in regional capital Antofagasta and the municipality of Tocopilla, despite criticism of the alleged environmental impact of brine discharges into the sea.

In December, the company received environmental approval for a US$115mn project to increase the capacity of its plant (in photo) in Antofagasta city to over 1,600l/s, and expects to have the expansion ready by late 2023 or early 2024, the firm’s operations manager Cristián Jiménez told BNamericas at the Desalination Latin America congress held by Vostock Capital.

He said the expansion will be Aguas Antofagasta’s largest project for the next three years.