NamWater has desalination plans from coast to capital

24 October 2019 | Environment

Yolanda Nel A feasibility study for the development of a Desalination Plant and Water Carriage System is currently being conducted by NamWater, proposing the supply of desalinated seawater to the central coastal areas and to Windhoek as well as towns en-route.
The study is set to be complete in the first quarter of 2020.
A number of technical meetings and site visits were carried out between April and June this year to develop a better understanding of the project scope. Based on the outcome of these meetings and site visits, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will further investigate a number of options.
One plan includes purchasing and expanding the existing Erongo Desalination Plant (EDP), which uses Reverse Osmoses (RO) technology. The plant is located about 30 km north of Swakopmund, near Wlotzkasbaken and belongs to Orano Mining Namibia. The EDP was commissioned in 2010 and delivers roughly 20 million m³ potable water per year at full capacity. The plant was originally constructed to supply water to the Trekkopje Uranium Mine (belonging to Orano Mining Namibia), but due to the mine being placed on care and maintenance and an increase in demand for water for the central coastal towns and other mines in the Erongo Region, the EDP currently supplies water through NamWater, to other bulk water users.
Another option is the construction of a new desalination plant at a new location along the central coast, likely between Swakopmund and Henties Bay. Previous studies (including EIAs) have been conducted for a new desalination plant at Mile 6. Consequently, this site will also be considered.
The proposed pipeline would have a length of around 350 km, with above and below ground pipeline options being considered. The main water pipeline components would comprise pumping stations, storage and balancing reservoirs, a single pipeline system and medium-voltage power supply installations, supported by the necessary energy supply and transmission systems. The transfer system’s design capacity will be based on a 30 year planning horizon.
Due to the high specific and overall energy demand of the system and the continuous requirements during the day and night, all power supply related investigations and propositions will be investigated in close cooperation and mutual agreement with NamPower.
Some of the power supply options that would likely be considered as part of the study, include the construction of a new Solar PV Plant or similar for feeding energy into the national grid for the project during the day-time, while the project would receive energy from the national grid at night-time when required. Another option is to buy/receive energy throughout the operational life of the project from the national grid.
The findings and recommendations of the study will form the basis of the decision whether to implement the project (or not); the most suitable project alternative(s); as well as input into the subsequent EIA study. It will furthermore elaborate on the “no-development” option.
The Feasibility Study is financed by the German government through the KfW Development Bank.
For comments to be included in the Scoping Report, a registration form must be completed and sent to SLR by 15 November 2019. Forms can be obtained via [email protected]

Public meetings will be held as follows:
• 4 November, 15:00 to 16:30: Henties Bay Community Hall
• 5 November, 11:00 to 12:30: Swakopmund Plaza Hotel
• 5 November, 15:00 to 16:30: Walvis Bay Protea Hotel, Pelican Bay
• 6 November, 10:00 to 11:30: Arandis Community Hall
• 6 November, 13:00 to 14:30: Usakos Community Hall
• 11 November, 11:00 to 13:00: Karibib Usab Community Hall
• 8 November, 10:00 to 12:00: Okahandja Town Hall
• 8 November, 15:00 to 17:00: Namibia Scientific Society in Windhoek.

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