Algeria’s supersized 500,000 m3/day desalination plant open for business
Africa’s largest seawater reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant has been opened in Magtaa, Algeria to provide 500,000 m3/day of drinking water...
Africa’s largest seawater reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant has been opened in Magtaa, Algeria to provide 500,000 m3/day of drinking water.
Singapore firm Hyflux will operate and maintain the 500,000 m3/day project worth S$632 million (US$494.6 million) to supply drinking waterto Algeria’s second largest city, Oran and neighbouring provinces.
Under a 25-year water purchase agreement, water will be supplied to state owned national public water entity, L’Algerienne Des Eaux (ADE) and oil and gas company, Sonatrach.
The Singapore firm’s proprietary ultrafiltration membranes and RO technology will be used to treat seawater.
It was in April 2008 when Hyflux won the bid for what was called the “world’s largest seawater desalination plant”.
Hyflux subsidiary MenaSpring Utility was awarded the contract by Algeria Energy Company – the government company handling power and water privatisation in Algeria.
The bid was won against stiff competition, including Spain’s Acciona Agua, Befesa, GE Water/Orascom and Biwater/Tarco/Arcofina.
Since then, however, Israeli water company IDE Technologies opened its 624,000 m3/day Sorek desalination project using RO membranes (read WWi story).
The original completion date for the Algerian project was August 2011 but a fire at the site warehouse that year put the date back.
Earlier this year WWi reported how construction on the Magtaa project had been completed (see WWi story).
Together with its first desalination plant in Algeria - Souk Tleta (Tlemcen) 200,000 m3/day – winning the Magtaa plant has meant that Hyflux now has a 30% market share of desalination capacity in Algeria.
Group CEO Olivia Lum said: "(The plant) will be instrumental in meeting Algeria's water needs.”
The ceremony was attended by Abdelmalek Sellal, Algeria’s Prime Minister and Hocine Necib, minister of Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s minister for the environment and water resources (read WWi interview), Mohammad Alami Musa, Singapore’s ambassador to Algeria, Hyflux executive chairman and group CEO, Olivia Lum, Hyflux’s partners Sonatrach, L’Algérienne Des Eaux and Algerian Energy Company.
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