A South African designed and built desalination plant could be delivering low cost, fresh water to the drought stricken Nelson Mandela Bay area within a matter of weeks. This is according to Andre Agenbag, Divisional CEO of EP Water, who says that the company has put forward a proposal for a solution that will provide between 2.5 and 10 million liters of potable water to the Coega Industrial Development Zone, situated in the Nelson Mandela Bay area.

“Desalination plants that process sea water into drinkable water are not a new concept, but what makes our solution unique and highly cost effective is the fact that we are partnering with local businesses to re-use parts of their existing infrastructure, rather than purpose-building everything from scratch.”

It has also been reported that this metro currently has only 36.24% of its water supply left, spread over five dams, making it even more crucial that businesses and the municipality consider alternative sources of water supply. “There are severe water restriction in place at the moment, with limits of 50 liters per person per day. Our desalination plant can double the water allocation for 50,000 to 200,000 people in the region, as well lessen the impact of this drought on local businesses,” Agenbag adds.

He explains that the state-of-the-art desalination plant was constructed during the Cape Town drought of 2017 and is owned by EP Water. “We can deploy the plant to Nelson Mandela Bay within eight to ten weeks at no cost to the region.  We can then supply water to clients at fees that are 10% to 25% lower than the cost of municipal supply. Much more importantly, the desalination plant will deliver a guaranteed supply of clean water and reduce the strain on the local municipality.”

In addition, this modular plant can be commissioned rapidly. “The environmental approvals are in place and the infrastructure has been constructed already. However, we are still waiting on the municipality’s approval. We know that this water supply solution will provide much-needed relief to Nelson Mandela Bay during this crisis, and we hope to be able to roll it out as soon as possible,” Agenbag concludes.