Plant weathers cyclone Nilam, to go on stream by month-end

VA Tech Wabag will commission the Rs 1,033-crore seawater desalination plant it is building for Chennai Metrowater by the month end, according to an authorised source.

The 100-million-litre-a-day project nearing completion on the East Coast Road about 35 km to the South of Chennai weathered the impact of Cyclone Nilam earlier this week. The facility is unscathed except for some water logging and debris that will be cleared in a couple of days. The plant site was evacuated ahead of the cyclone, which hit the coast at Mamallapuram, about 10 km south of the project site on Wednesday. Clearing work has now started, the source said.

The trial commissioning of the plant that will convert sea water to fresh water for drinking is on and will be completed by this month-end. Commercial production will be in line with State Government’s plans.

VA Tech Wabag, the Chennai-based multinational water treatment company, is setting up the project jointly with IDE Technologies of Israel for the water utility. The desalination plant is funded by a grant from the Central Government. The company will also handle the operation and maintenance of the plant for seven years.

Work on the project started in 2010 with an estimated construction cost of about Rs 533 crore and Rs 500 crore for the operation and maintenance. The State Government allocated 40 acres for the project.

The project is among the largest of its kind and the second in Chennai. The first desalination project set up in the private sector is at Minjur in North Chennai and has a long-term concession to supply water to the utility.

(This article was published on November 2, 2012)
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