SADDN: Encouraging the participation of local suppliers
As a way of contributing to economic growth in the district of Tocopilla, meetings were held with local supplier companies to see how they could meet specific project needs.
Techint Engineering & Construction is collaborating with Codelco Northern District, Aguas Horizonte and the Municipality of Tocopilla, to hold a series of ‘work days’ with representatives from supplier companies in the area, creating opportunities for local business in the context of the needs of the Desalinated Water Supply for the Northern District (SADDN) megaproject.
In attendance at these meetings, or ‘work days’, were local union representatives, on behalf of some 200 companies from different sectors and of varying sizes, who were able to publicize the particular features of their services and products offers. The initiative was also an opportunity for them to find out more about the specific requirements of this project, leading to meeting points designed to encourage the economy and foster employment in the commune.
The ‘work days’ were held in the facilities of the Andrés Pérez Municipal Theater and attended by the different business groups from Tocopilla who were able to dialogue with the parties involved in developing this project. The program also included personalized service modules where the project company executives provided information, answering questions and clearing up doubts as well as signing up new suppliers to the providers register.
Jorge Gentile, Techint E&C’s Supply Manager for the SADDN Project, explained that, “it was extremely beneficial to reach out to potential suppliers and have the space to explain to them clearly and precisely what the needs are for this project." He emphasized that this information will be shared with the company's main subcontractors, "as they could also be potential consumers of those services and materials.”
Ignacio Gonzalez, the Purchasing Manager of the SADDN project, pointed out that “it’s important for the main trade associations to have the opportunity to offer their services, depending on needs and circumstances, in addition to meeting our customers’ demands. For this reason, the event was an excellent opportunity to meet local small and medium-sized companies and take the first steps towards building relationships with them.”
For Augusto Estay, President of the Association of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Tocopilla, “this is a major project”, of which they hope to be part. “We represent companies with a great deal of experience, so we are delighted to have this opportunity to be present and showcase our achievements. We are very excited about the many work fronts opening up for Tocopilla companies,” he said.
Freddy Pasten, Promotional Director of the Association of Industrialists of Tocopilla, (Asintoc), expressed his gratitude for the meeting, "and for the opportunity to sit down together with Techint and Codelco to examine the different scopes of this project so that we can contribute to all the aspects that need to be developed along the way.”
Contribution to the local economy
One of the many objectives pursued by the new seawater desalination plant is to contribute to the local economy, by hiring personnel and contracting services at local level. This is why Techint E&C, Aguas Horizonte and the municipality have invested considerable efforts in the creation of these work days to foster dialogue and develop networks, bringing the project closer to the community.
Irene Vega, Director of Community Affairs of Codelco Distrito Norte, said that, “this meeting was an opportunity to get to know each other.” She pointed out that local companies were extremely grateful to have this chance to participate in business roundtables with large companies, a first for Tocopilla. “It’s an opportunity for these large companies, such as Techint E&C and Aguas Horizonte, to appreciate the variety of services available in the area and understand the competitive advantages involved in being close to the project,” she pointed out.
To conclude, Alex Miquel, General Manager of Aguas Horizonte, drew attention to the fact that there are plans to hire services providers from Tocopilla, and that the ‘work day’ meetings were the first step in this direction. “We want to find out as much as possible about the services available here and ensure that they too know about the project and understand what the requirements are. This is a key instance for local companies to be able to access the calls for tenders.”