Africa’s largest desalination plant opens

Singapore-based desalination company, Hyflux, has officially opened its recently completed 500,000 m³/d desalination plant at Magtaa, Algeria. The facility is Africa’s biggest and contains the largest ultrafiltration pre-treatment facility in the world according to Hyflux.

Hyflux has a 25-year contract with local utility, L’Algérienne Des Eaux, and African oil and gas giant, Sonatrach, to operate and maintain the S$ 632 million (US$ 495 million) plant. It will supply drinking water to Algeria’s second largest city, Oran and surrounding provinces.

The plant is equipped with Hyflux’s Krystal ultrafiltration technology in pre- treatment along with Toray reverse osmosis membranes for the separation stage.

The Magtaa desalination plant “strengthens our presence in the region,” said Hyflux executive chairman and group chief executive officer, Olivia Lum, speaking at the plant’s opening ceremony. “It also demonstrates our technology as well as engineering and construction capabilities for municipalities in need of sustainable and cost-effective water solutions,” she added.

Hyflux subsidiary MenaSpring Utility in 2008 won the bid to build Magtaa which was then to be the world’s largest seawater desalination plant. Hyflux’s has a 47% equity stake in the project with L’Algérienne Des Eaux holding the remainder.

The Magtaa plant is Hyflux’s second project in Algeria. It followed the 200,000 m³/d Souk Tleta Desalination Plant, which began operating in 2011.