Consolidated bidding for Mexican SWRO desalination

Consolidated Water Co (CWCO) has declared itself to be one of the tenderers for the El Salitral desalination plant in Baja California, Mexico. Bids are due by June.

The Baja California state water authority, Comisión Estatal de Agua, issued a revised tender in February 2011 for the 21,600 m³/d plant, to be located in Ensenada.

Rick McTaggart, CEO of CWCO, interviewed by BNamericas, says his company has bid to design, build and operate the reverse-osmosis plant. The project had a total approved investment of 352.900 million pesos (US$ 3 0 million), though McTaggart is quoted as saying this is now US$ 40 million, of which 60% will be put in by the successful tenderer. The remainder will come from the federal government.

In his report on CWCO’s financial first quarter, McTaggart ascribed the primary reason for the company’s decline in income for the quarter to another Mexican project the company is pursuing – the 100 MGD (378,500 m³/d) Rosarito project designed to pipe potable water across the border to the USA from Baja California.

“In May 2010,” said McTaggart, “one of our subsidiaries acquired a 50% interest in NSC Agua SA de CV (NSC), a Mexican company that has been formed to pursue this project opportunity. We have secured certain rights to a strategic site in Mexico and are making substantial progress in negotiating ground-breaking agreements with the Federal Electricity Commission in Mexico.”

CWCO estimates that it will take until early 2012 for NSC to complete all of the activities necessary to commence construction of the plant, which would be the company’s largest seawater desalination plant by far.