Thai island considers desalination

The Pattaya municipal council is considering a company's proposal to invest US$ 1.28 million in a desalination plant to produce drinking water on Koh Lan, off the coast of Chon Buri.

The Pattaya municipal council is considering a company's proposal to invest US$ 1.28 million in a desalination plant to produce drinking water on Koh Lan, off the coast of Chon Buri.

East Water Resource Development and Management (East Water) Plc proposes producing tap water by reverse osmosis. The firm would spend US$ 780,000 in the first phase of a plant capable of producing 250 m3 of water a day. The initial charge for tap water would be US$ 1.59 per m3.

Over the next five years it would spend another US$ 550,000 expanding production capacity to 500 m3 a day within five years and 750 m3 a day within 10 years. East Water would cover the cost of construction and pipeline installation and collect water fees for 20 years before transferring the project to Pattaya municipality.

A source said the municipality would study the plan further, but wanted the firm to adjust water prices every five years instead of three years as proposed.

Pattaya mayor Pairat Sutthidamrong-sawat said the islanders were now forced to buy water from the mainland at US$ 3.60 per m3. Demand is 300 m3 of water a day. The island is home to 2,200 residents and received about 2,000 visitors each day.

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