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Bioremediation for sustainable development in Viña del Mar


Environmental recovery, integration into the urban project thanks to the development of numerous quality public spaces, and promotion of social mobility are some of the characteristics of the Urban Development Plan that Inmobiliaria Las Salinas is carrying out in La Ciudad Jardín, north of Viña del Mar (Chile). Prior to any urban action, and as outlined, in August 2020, by the Valparaíso Region Environmental Assessment Commission, it is necessary to complete the recovery process of the 16 hectares of land with an industrial past (storage of petrochemical products). This land had already undergone a first stage of remediation between 2009 and 2014.

The project Master Plan obtained LEED ND Gold certification in 2017, which could lead to becoming the first certified sustainable neighborhood in Chile and the third in the world.

For the final clear-up of the site, the bioremediation technique will be used, a technique with which natural processes are accelerated for an effective and safe degradation of organic compounds, such as hydrocarbons, by natively present microorganisms that are highly adapted and innocuous for human beings. The expected duration for this process is about 5 years. To do this, extensive analysis work was carried out on the soil for over 15 years, more than 1,100 soil and water samples were taken, and more than 30,000 laboratory analysis were carried out. One of the great advantages of this proposal is that it is based on an “On site” remediation, that is, carried out on site, and introducing mitigation measures into the project design. The investment necessary to carry out the clean-up works will be around US $55 million.

The essential aspects that make up the project include:

  • Groundwater pretreatment in the most polluted sectors (8 pretreatment wells)
  • Soil excavation to clean up specific areas (1 Million m³ of soil)
  • Classification of excavated soils (95% clean soil; 4% biopile soil; 1% soil with hazardous waste or Respel)
  • Bioremediation of soils through the operation of biopiles and improved Bioremediation of groundwater
  • Soil replacement
  • Permanent monitoring and final verification

IDOM is the Project Manager of the entire project, providing the client with technical assistance throughout the bidding process, coordination, technical advice with the participation of international experts from IDOM*, active participation in the CES – Clean-up Committee of Experts, CE -Las Salinas Management Strategic Committee, on-site monitoring of the bioremediation process, and assistance during the risk raising process.

* It is worth highlighting the participation in this project of Lourdes Ruiz, Project Manager, and Germán Monge, Coordinator of International Experts and Technical Director of Contaminated Soils and Sustainable Remediation at IDOM.


Further information:

Explanatory video on the bioremediation techniques to be used in this project (Spanish)

Aerial video of the site and surroundings

Sustainable Soil Management

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On-site Monitoring
Project Management
Specialized Technical Assistance

Germán Monge

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