China names seawater desalination project sites

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner, announced on 15 March 2013 the first batch of regions and companies selected to carry out seawater desalination projects.

The country aims to produce 2.2 million m³/d of desalinated seawater by 2015, compared with 660,000 m³/d in 2011, according to the 2011‑2015 plan.

The list includes the cities of Shenzhen and Zhoushan, Luxixiang Island in Zhejiang Province, Binhai New Area in Tianjin, Bohai New Area in Hebei, and several industrial parks and companies. The NDRC has asked the listed regions and companies to actively promote the application of desalted water and encourage its use in daily supplies.

Chinese industrial analysts estimated the development plan will require investment of around Yuan 21 billion (US$ 3.35 billion).

More than half of the freshwater channeled to islands and more than 15% of water delivered to coastal factories will come from the sea by 2015, according to the plan. In its report to the first session of the 12th National People’s Congress on 5 March 2013, the NDRC said it would accelerate development of the demonstration project for seawater desalination.