Metrowater has extended the deadline for submission of bids from consultants to conduct prefeasibility studies for a third desalination plant in Chennai.

The water utility, the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Metrowater), which handles the water supply and the sewerage system for the city had called for bids from consultants to carry out a prefeasibility study for a 200-million-litre a day (mld) desalination plant for Chennai.

The deadline fixed for today has now been extended up to June 16, 3.00 p.m. The bids will be opened from 3.30 p.m. onwards, according to an official announcement. The bid documents will be available for sale up to 5.45 p.m. of June 15.

The deadline is being extended for a second time. Earlier, it had been fixed for May 4 and was put of till today.

The bid called by Metrowater is to conduct a prefeasibility study, detailed project report, bid documents and processing for establishing a 200 mld sea water reverse osmosis desalination plant for Chennai. National and international consultants are expected to participate for the project aimed at augmenting water supply for the city through an international bidding process.

To quality for the consultancy proposal, the bidder must have individually prepared a detailed project report for at least one 100 mld sea water reverse osmosis desalination plant which should have been commissioned and operating for at least one year, apart from having prepared consultancy reports for total capacity of 400 mld in the last five years.

When implemented, this will be the third desalination plant for Chennai, a unique distinction, apart from being twice as large as the existing facility or the one under operation.

Metrowater now has a 100-mld desalination plant set up on a DBOOT (Design-Build-Own-Operated-Transfer) basis by Chennai Water Desalination Ltd, a joint venture between IVRCL Assets & Holdings and Befesa India, a subsidiary of a Spanish company, Befesa Construcccion y Tecnologia Ambiental. This facility is in Minjur, north Chennai.

A second facility of 100 mld is coming at Nemili, about 50 km to the south of Chennai near Mamallapuram. This is being set up at a cost of Rs 1,033 crore with Union Government funding for Metrowater by the Chennai-based VA Tech Wabag. Wabag which will also operate and maintain the desalination plant is partnering with IDE Technologies, Israel, for the project.