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Chennai Co Bags Deal For Largest Seawater Desalination Project  
Source:   The Financial Express City   : Chennai Published On   19-01-2010  


A contract of the country’s largest sea water desalination project by the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Chennai Metro Water) has been awarded to a Chenai-based company, VA Tech Wabag. The total cost of the project is Rs 1,033 crore, of which the construction cost of Rs 533 crore would come as a grant from the Centre. The remaining Rs 500 crore, the operational cost for seven years, would be shared by the state government and Metro Water.

VA Tech Wabag will build and operate a 100 million-litre daily capacity seawater desalination plant at Nemmeli, just outside the Chennai city.

“The plant will be constructed in technical partnership with the Israel-based IDE Technologies, on design, build and operate (DBO) basis. It will be commissioned in the next 24 months,” said Rajiv Mittal, managing director of the company on Tuesday.

IDE is a world leader in desalination plant building and operation. It would be supplying critical technology and some of the key components, Mittal said. However, about 70% of the technology and equipment will be from VA Tech, he added.

Mittal said the Nemmeli project will comprise the state-of-the art units such as disc filters, ultrafilteration membranes and reverse osmosis membranes. The water will convert sea water into fresh drinking water using reverse osmosis technology. The plant was designed to be reliable, more affordable and efficient than the previous technologies used in the country.

“This is for the first time in India that disc filters are being used for pre-treatment of sea water. This will help us commission the plant faster and increase operational efficiencies in terms of time and cost,’’ he added. This will be the second desalination plant being set up in Chennai. The first one is near completion. The contract for the distribution system also has been awarded and the plant and supply network will be in place by 2012. The water will be supplied to the southern suburbs of Chennai covering the entire stretch of the IT corridor, and adjacent areas.

Mittal said VA Tech Wabag is one of the very few companies in the world which offered a complete range of sea and brackish water desalination technologies. It has more than 20 years experience in the field of desalination and has designed, installed and successfully commissioned over 100 plants globally.

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