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Nareva and Engie to construct wind-powered desalination plant in Morocco

  • Nareva and Engie to construct wind-powered desalination plant in Morocco
    Rambla Morales desalination plant (Almería - Spain) by David Martínez Vicente is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Morocco, battling against the country’s worst drought in 40 years, has announced its plan to build a seawater desalination plant near the city of Dakhla, in Western Sahara.

The new facility will be implemented through a public-private partnership (PPP) with the joint venture Dahkla Water & Energy Company (DAWEC).  

Afrik21 reports that the future desalination plant has been awarded to Dakhla Water & Energy Company (DAWEC), a joint venture between International Power, the subsidiary of the French group Engie and Nareva, the subsidiary of the Moroccan group Al Mada.

Connected to the electricity grid of Morocco’s National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE), DAWEC has informed it will power its desalination plant with wind energy.

The desalination plant will supply 37 million cubic meters of drinking water per year, a daily production of 100,000 cubic meters. The majority of the treated water, 30 million cubic meters, will be used for the irrigation of agricultural land, the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fishing, Rural Development and Water and Forests has said in a statement. The facility will also provide drinking water to the locations of Dakhla, Bir Anzarane and the new Atlantic port of Dakhla.

DAWEC will also build an irrigation system for 5,000 hectares of early crops, which will take 24 months to set up and the desalination plant is expected to take 30 months to complete.

Numerous large players had taken part in an international tender for this project, including Veolia with its compatriot Voltalia and Abengoa with the Emirati independent power producer (IPP) Amea Power.

After the construction is completed, DAWEC will operate the desalination plant for 20 years and according to Afrik21, it is expected to invest 2 billion Moroccan dirhams (over 189 million euros) in Dakhla. 

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