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GHANA: $125 million seawater desalination plant breaks ground (26/11/12)

International seawater desalination solutions provider Abengoa has broken ground for the $125 million Nungua seawater desalination plant in Ghana, the first such project in west Africa.

The design, build, operate, own and transfer contract was awarded to Abengoa in April last year after the company signed an agreement with public water utility Ghana Water Limited Company.

According to Abengoa the agreement also includes the development of the necessary infrastructure for the seawater intake, the application of the ultrafiltration pretreatment system using proprietary technology, desalination using reverse osmosis, and the use of energy recovery.

Design details of the plant, which will be constructed over a 24-month period, shows that it will have the capacity to produce 60,000 cubic metres/day.

‘Abengoa will be responsible for the design and construction of the plant, as well as its subsequent maintenance and operation for a 25 year period,’ said Abengoa.

The Spanish company expects to recover project costs from water revenues estimated at $1.3 billion by the end of the 25-year agreement period.

An estimated three million people in Accra, particularly such areas as Teshie, Nungua and Tema with perennial water shortages, will benefit from the project.

A previous government statement said: ‘Teshie and its surrounding environs have for the past 25 years been experiencing acute water shortage which has become as a source of worry to most of the inhabitants as they have to travel long distances in search of water.

‘The desalination project is expected to supplement shortfalls in water production in the Accra-Tema areas which require a minimum of 160 million gallons (608 million litres) of water every day but currently produces 80 million gallons (304 million litres) on a daily basis,’ the statement said.

Abengoa says the Ghana desalination project will increase its installed water desalination capacity to nearly 1,200,000m3/day, ‘sufficient to supply drinking water to more than 7.6 million people.’
Shem Oirere