IRH specialises in the implementation and management of projects related to water supply, water networks, urbanisation, stormwater systems, water and sewage treatment, environmental management and hydraulics. Sinclair Knight Merz Chief Executive Paul Dougas said the acquisition of IRH is a direct response to the needs of clients in South America, especially in the mining sector.

“Global reach is one of SKM’s core strategies, and the firm is committed to bringing the best solutions to clients from the best people located around the world,” Mr Dougas said. “For all clients this means access to a broad pool of leading skills, resources and global experience, brought to their doorstep with local delivery on every project.”

“The merger with IRH is our most significant move in Chile since our 2005 merger with Minmetal, one of Chile’s largest engineering and construction management firms at that time,” he added.

SKM’s Water and Environment General Manager, Mark Clarke said the merging of SKM with IRH highlights the firms commitment to Chile and forms a strong consultancy in Water in Mining in that region.

“As water scarcity and environmental issues become more and more critical to clients in South America, we saw the need to expand our skills and capability to service client needs,” Clarke said.

“Bringing the IRH team of about 60 people into SKM’s already strong Chilean operation enhances our ability to provide leading water and environmental services to the mining sector, and public sector water clients in the region.”

IRH General Manager, Rene Ureta, said he was delighted to have completed the merger with SKM. “Merging with SKM provides our staff with the opportunity to work on large exciting projects and with some of the world’s leading organisations,” he said. “SKM has a great brand and track record of success, and we look forward to being a part of that success into the future.”

IRH has a diverse client base across both the private and public sectors in Chile. Clients include CODELCO, Aguas Andinas, Essan, the Government of Chile Public Works Department, a range of large commercial and retail clients, and Chile’s largest petrol retailer, Copec.