Australians win Cape Verde desalination agreement

A letter of intent involving a desalination plant with an initial capacity of 4,000 m³/d has been given to Water Resources Group (WRG) of Perth, Australia, from the Municipality of Santa Caterina in Cape Verde.

The turnkey contract for potable water supply, estimated at US$ 10 million, will be handled by a joint venture called Blue Aquifer LDA, in which WRG has a 49% stake.

The president of Cape Verde, Francisco Fernandes Tavares said, “I’m pleased to inform you that Blue Aquifer is our preferred supplier of potable desalinated sea water for this project and, assuming that commercially reasonable terms and a competitive price can be agreed, we intend to enter into a 25-year contract.”

The CEO of WRG, Brian Harcourt, added, “Our Moroccan contract is nearing completion, and we are aiming to start construction of both Cape Verde and the Moroccan installations by the end of this year. These plants when commenced will generate over US$ 2 million per month in revenue for the company starting in early 2012 and should be a catalyst for the establishment of additional projects.”

WRG provides containerized reverse-osmosis packages, which are claimed to be chemical-free. The pretreatment in its Advanced Seawater Reverse Osmosis (ASWRO) system involves use of the company’s proprietary Plasma Chemical Reactor to economically generate ozone to replace the use of chlorine.

The company’s latest annual report (December 2010) says that the ozone technology “renders acid, chlorine and polymer hazardous material delivery and disposal obsolete, resulting in substantially reduced operating costs and safer plant operations. The much lower cost of ozone for pretreatment allows us to optimise the system lowering the cost of water by between 20% and 40% as compared to a traditional seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant.”

It also says that the company is continuing to work with CAPAMA (the water commission operated by the municipality of Acapulco, Mexico) to quantify and develop an opportunity to supply CAPAMA up to 40,000 m³/d of water from ASWRO systems over the next 3-4 years.