Work is underway to build in Morocco what will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the African continent, reports Utilities Middle East. The project is located in the southern coastal city of Agadir, a major city and capital of the region of Souss-Massa, with a population of more than 450,000 people.
Commercial operations are expected to start in 2021. The plant will produce initially 275,000 m3 of desalinated water per day, to reach later on a maximum capacity of 450,000 m3 per day. In a first phase, the plant would supply drinking water to 2.3 million people living in the region of Souss-Massa. A second phase contemplates desalinated water use to irrigate an area of some 15,000 hectares in the Chtouka Ait Baha area.
Agriculture is a major economic activity in Souss-Massa, while Agadir is an important fishing and tourist port. The region is also home to industries related to the processing of agricultural and seafood products.
The project’s cost is about MAD 4 billion (over 370 million euros). Farmers in the region have reportedly contributed MAD 10,000 (about 930 euros) in exchange for a discounted price on future desalinated water.
The project contract was signed in 2017 by the minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Boussaid, and the Minister of Agriculture, Aziz Akhannouch, with Spanish company Abengoa, leader in innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors.