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Namibia has approved a second desalination plant

Namibia has approved a second desalination plant

Niël Terblanché


THE steady population increase in the Erongo Region and an increase in mining activities have necessitated the commissioning of a second desalination plant at the coast.


The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein while on a fact-finding mission to the Erongo Region officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony of a new pipeline near Swakopmund that will be known as the Kuiseb Collector 2 when he said 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.


A new desalination plant will therefore be constructed by placing the project into a Public-Private Partnership through which private capital is leveraged, private operational capacity is roped in, while NamWater remains as the owner of the water. This project will be aimed at resolving the water production constraints in the Erongo Region,” the minister said.


He said by upgrading pipelines like the Kuiseb Collector 2, NamWater is preparing itself to transport desalinated water to its customers once the new desalination plant is commissioned.


The minister added that the government has recognized the importance of water supply as a catalyst for developments in the Erongo Region.


  • Namibia approved Erongo mining second desalination plant coast
  • Namibia approved Erongo mining second desalination plant coast
  • Namibia approved Erongo mining second desalination plant coast


Over the past 10 years, NamWater with Government support has committed investments worth more than N$1 billion in the creation and upgrades of water infrastructure in the region and particularly in infrastructure at the central coastal area that serves the local authorities of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Henties Bay, and Arandis as well as the various uranium mines.


Schlettwein noted that some of the projects such as the new pipeline project that will replace the 46-year-old infrastructure have provided much-needed relief and robust water supply to the region.


He said the new pipe infrastructure will eliminate major water supply disruptions that are caused by the perennial failure of the older water-carrying infrastructure.


“The planning and development of water infrastructures in the region must be done as a combined effort by all stakeholders and NamWater must be allowed to take the leading role as the bulk water supplier as mandated by the government,” he said.


Schlettwein was of the opinion that work done in the so-called silo fashion by different entities must strongly be discouraged because it results in the splitting of resources.


“This way of work deprives the country of the benefits of synergy,” he said.


He said that NamWater has commenced with other projects in the Erongo Region that will cost more than N$200 million dollars.


“These projects include the drilling the new boreholes, the construction of new pipelines, replacement of the old supply lines, and the erection of new power supply infrastructure to drive pumps in the new boreholes in the Dorob and Swartbank areas of the Kuiseb River. Some of the money will also be spent on the rehabilitation of storage reservoirs and replacing other pipelines,” Schlettwein said.


He added that the ministry and its key stakeholders are continuously planning while concentrating on detailed socio-economic water demand studies to establish more weather-resilient water sources such as desalination capability on the central coast.


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