Namibia: New Desalination Plant to Be Constructed – Schlettwein… Project Designated a PPP

Agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein last weekend confirmed that the feasibility study for the construction of a new desalination plant has been completed and shows that an additional desalination plant is viable and needed to alleviate industrial production constraints. The minister also revealed that the desalination plant will be constructed in the Erongo region by attracting the private sector for both financing and operational support.

“A new plant will therefore be constructed by placing the project into a public-private partnership (PPP), through which private capital is leveraged and private operational capacity is roped in,” said Schlettwein. He emphasised, however, that although the desalination project will be a PPP, NamWater will remain in charge of the water.

The minister made these remarks while launching the upgrading of the Kuiseb Collector 2 – Schwarzekuppe Swakopmund pipeline which was commissioned in 1974. He noted that upgrading pipelines is also in preparation for NamWater to be able to transport desalinated water to end-users once the new desalination plant is commissioned.

In addition to the pipeline upgrading, NamWater also commenced with other projects in the area estimated to cost over N$200 million. These projects, amongst others, are the drilling of the new boreholes, the construction of new pipelines, replacement of old pipelines and erecting new infrastructure to provide power to new boreholes in the Dorob and Swartbank areas of the Kuiseb River. NamWater will also undertake to rehabilitate storage reservoirs and replace other pipelines, including the one that supplies the Rooikop army base and the Walvis Bay airport.

Schlettwein stated that over the past 10 years, NamWater with government support has committed investments worth over N$1 billion in the creation and upgrading of water infrastructure in this region, particularly central coast infrastructure that serve the local authorities of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Henties Bay and Arandis as well as the numerous mines in the vicinity.