China desalination chief calls for more state support

The lack of an effective pricing mechanism for water produced by desalination and support for an operable policy is affecting the development of the country’s seawater desalination industry, according to Li Linmei, director of the Institute of Seawater Desalination & Multipurpose Utilization in Tianjin, part of the State Oceanic Administration.

Reported in China Daily, Linmei said more government support was needed, including subsidies and a favorable pricing mechanism.

According to ChinaWaterNet, current domestic water prices in coastal areas are in a range Yuan 2.4‑4.9/m³ (US$ 0.39‑0.80/m³) in the coastal regions, while the price of water for industry is Yuan 3.3‑7.9/m³ (US$  0.54‑1.29/m³). However, Linmei says desalination plants can produce 674,000 m³/d at a cost of about Yuan 5 (US$ 0.80)/m³, not including infrastructure such as pipelines.