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Abengoa begins construction of West African desalination plant

Abengoa, an international company that supplies technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, has begun construction on the Nungua desalination plant in Ghana

The desalination facility, which will be the first of its kind in West Africa, will require an investment of US$125mn. The plant will utilise reverse osmosis technology in order to produce 60,000 cu m of fresh water per day.

Responsible for the design and construction of the plant, Abengoa will also be in control of its operations and subsequent maintenance for a 25-year period. Revenues from water sales are forecast to exceed US$1.3bn during this time.

The works are expected to take 24 months, while creating some 400 direct and indirect jobs. The plant, which has been welcomed by Ghanaian authorities and local people, will enable drinking water to be supplied to more than 500,000 residents in the towns of Teshie, Nungua and Tema.

Accra, the capital of Nungua, which is home to almost three million inhabitants, currently struggles to meet the demand for water from its more remote towns and villages.

In a country with a rapidly growing population, only half of the 800,000 cu m per day of water currently required to cover the needs of the population can be supplied. The Ghanaian authorities have therefore prioritised water supply projects and private investment within the country’s Economic Recovery Programme, which was launched in the 1980s to revitalise its economy.

Abengoa said that the Nungua project will increase the region’s installed water desalination capacity to almost 1.2 cu m per day, sufficient to supply drinking water to more than 7.6mn people.

The company, which has its headquarters in Seville, Spain, is consolidating its position in the water sector, so far developing desalination plants in Algeria, India, China and Spain.