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Geography: The challenges faced by C20+ at PS5

Published 27.6.2024

A year and a half into the project in Chile, Techint Engineering & Construction has tackled enormous difficulties requiring significant efforts in civil engineering works.


The construction of the pumping station, known as PS5, for the C20+ project in Collahuasi has reached 60% completion. However, during its execution, Techint Engineering & Construction has faced various challenges, such as the limited space within environmental boundaries — with only one access point for both the station and the electrical substation. This has necessitated meticulous coordination efforts.

Additionally, the project presents geographical difficulties , being located in Chile's mountainous region at an altitude of approximately 3,600 meters. PS5 is the final station in the desalinated water pumping system, positioned before the transfer station and, ultimately, the discharge pools at the Ujina site.

“Due to the geographical location of this station, situated on a hillside, this collaborative effort has always adhered to high safety standards. We designed a 20-meter-high, 45-meter-wide, and 80-meter-long reinforced earth wall, filling 40% of the entire platform area,” explains José Capra, Superintendent of PS5.

He emphasizes: “The civil works have been complex, considering the combination of supports and reinforcements (shotcrete, fiber, and anchor bolts), the reinforced earth walls, and the prefabricated structures. It's a slope over 40 meters high with eight terraces, executed in multiple stages.”

Upcoming challenges

Recently, the five pumps were installed, and the crane bridge beams, arriving with highly complex logistics, are on their way. In the coming months, the focus will be on assembling and installing the modules for the electrical room, which will require an increased workforce in the area. This will involve greater coordination to ensure safety and progress in the sector.

“The challenges in the next four months are significant, and to tackle them, strengthening planning and strategies is crucial,” says Capra.

Luis Díaz, Construction Coordinator, adds: “Thanks to the positive attitude and effective communication we've had on this site, we’ve managed to execute the work according to the planned schedule and sequence of activities.”

He further notes: “The safety work has been excellent, partly due to the self-care of our workers and also because of the coordination across all areas.”

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