Erongo Regional Council plans its own desalination plant

11 May 2018 08:20am
WINDHOEK, 11 MAY (NAMPA) - The Erongo Regional Council plans to build its own desalination plant in the next few years in response to growing water supply demands in the coastal areas.
Plans for the construction of the plant are driven by the ever-growing concerns that fresh water supplies in the entire Erongo Region are insufficient at the present moment, and demand for water is set to continue rising in the coming years, said Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua.
Mutjavikua said this in his State of the Region Address in Swakopmund on Tuesday evening.
“We plan to set up the Erongo water utility company under the Erongo Development Agency with the intention of ensuring availability and sustainable utilisation of potable water in the region through the establishment of a new desalination plant for the region,” reads his speech availed to Nampa Wednesday.
Mutjavikua said they are now busy engaging Israeli private partners in a “20-year-Build Operate and Transfer (BoT) agreement” to construct a desalination plant in Erongo.
He explained that besides industrial development and residential use, the water of the envisaged desalination plant will also be channelled towards agricultural irrigation throughout the region.
Agricultural green scheme sub-stations will be established along the pipeline from the sea to the plant, and the project will establish 300 000 hectares along the 420-kilometre pipeline for agricultural initiatives.
It is hoped this will boost agricultural productivity, create agribusinesses, enhance food security and increase employment opportunities in the region.
The project development will be funded by external investors on a “20-year BoT” basis.
“Every five years will see a gradual transfer of skills and ownership to Namibians till the completion of the said years.”
Another long-term goal for the project is to produce fodder and ensure livestock slaughtering in Namibia to help local livestock producers and country to benefit from the government’s agreements with the European Union, United States of America and other countries.
Mutjavikua, however, did not disclose the amount of money that will be needed for the establishment of the envisaged desalination plant.
Meanwhile, the Areva Resources Mining Company, which owns the Trekkopje Uranium Mine, has already invested millions of Namibian dollars in the construction of its own desalination plant during the 2016/17 financial year.
Rio Tinto, which owns the Rössing Uranium Mine, is also reportedly planning to build its own desalination plant.
The two mines are in the Erongo Region.