Senegal’s upcoming construction of desalination plant

Concern:

In Senegal, particularly in Dakar, drinking water needs will only increase in the coming years. The current production capacity is 421,000 cubic meters per day, which is insufficient to provide for estimated future requirements.  The region will require in 2025, 659,000 cubic meters per day and 963,000 cubic meters per day in 2035.

The drinking water supply system for the Dakar region has a high dependence on Lake Guiers and groundwater. Lake Guiers supplies 45 percent of the raw water and 55 percent is from groundwater. However Lake Guiers is located 250 km from Dakar, which increases the costs of investment, treatment, transportation and exploitation. There is a need to build new infrastructure to strengthen the drinking water production in this area.

Solution:

So the State, through the National Water Company of Senegal (SONES) and with the input of Japan, has approved the construction of a seawater desalination plant. This treatment plant will have a production capacity of 50,000-100,000 cubic meters per day. Plant construction will begin in January 2018 near the famous lighthouse of Mamelles. In addition to the desalination plant construction, the project also includes the replacement of 460 km of distribution pipes inherited from colonization in Dakar.

The estimated total cost of this project is 137 billion FCFA, of which 56 million FCFA is for the desalination plant infrastructure, 56 million FCFA is for the replacement of old pipes in the Dakar distribution network, and the remainder is for project management services, and financial and physical contingencies. JICA, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, is funding the project on very good concessional terms. For example, the interest rate is less than 0.7 percent for 30 years. The implementation of the desalination plant, like all other investments, will not impact the price of water for consumers.

The project launched in 2015. After a two year implementation period beginning in 2019, the plant is expected to be commissioned in 2021.

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