Chennai desalination plant delayed again

The Minjur seawater desalination plant in Tamil Nadu, India, which will supply the city of Chennai, has once again exceed the deadline set for its completion.

Pressure filters at the Minjur desalination plant.

Pressure filters at the Minjur desalination plant.

The 100,000 m³/d plant, under construction by a consortium, Chennai Water Desalination Ltd (CWDL), led by Befesa of Spain, has been delayed by "unfavourable sea conditions", according to local media reports.

In a press release issued on 6 August 2009, the Tamil Nadu government stated that Thiru KS Sripathi, chief secretary to the government, visited the desalination plant site at Kattupalli, Minjur, on 6 August and inspected and reviewed the progress of various ongoing works.

"During the Chief Secretary's inspection," said the release, "the company M/s CWDL informed that all the works pertaining to the desalination plant including marine works will be completed and the plant will be commissioned and 100 MLD of water will be supplied to Chennai Metrowater by 2 October 2009".

This followed another delay from the original date of January 2009 after the project was hit by cyclone Nisha in October 2008. Now a 600 m pipeline of 1,600 mm diameter, to be laid below the seabed, is still awaiting favourable sea conditions.

According to a report in the Times of India, three of the five reverse-osmosis racks have been commissioned and are operational with around 10 pumps having been installed near the shore as a temporary arrangement to draw seawater.

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