South African RO plant begins production

The 15,000 m³/d reverse-osmosis desalination plant for Mossel Bay, South Africa, should go into full production this week, after three weeks of commissioning.

The onshore plant is located on PetroSA’s logistics site at Voorbaai, and the company will be entitled to 5,000 m³ of the plant’s daily yield.

PetroSA contributed R 80 million (US$ 11.6 million) to the R 210 (US$ 30.4 million) cost of the project. The national Treasury contributed R 92 million (US$ 13.3 million) and the balance is being financed by the municipality.

Although the plant was undertaken as an emergency project when Mossel Bay was in the grip of the worst drought in 133 years, it adds to Mossel Bay’s water security. The municipality has until now relied mainly on surface water.

Originally billed as the largest desalination plant in Sub-Saharan Africa, the plant has been dwarfed by Ghana’s contract award for a 60,000 m³/d plant.