Areva set to hand over desalination plant to Namibia

French nuclear group, Areva, is poised to hand over a desalination plant to the Namibian government, for an undisclosed sum according to the south west African country’s chamber of mines.

The chamber’s chief executive officer, Veston Malango, told a media briefing in Mamibian capital, Windhoek, that the hand-over will be done through the national water company, NamWater.

The NAD 3 billion (US$ 270 million) desalination plant at Wlotzkasbaken, is about 30 km from the coastal town of Swakopmund in Erongo region and is considered to be largest in southern Africa. It was built to supply water to Areva’s Trekkopje uranium mine.

The plant produces 20 billion litres of potable water a year, enough to enable Areva to operate the Trekkopje mine without abstracting water from the ground. The excess production will serve the local communities and industrial activities.

Areva, in 2013, signed contracts with NamWater for the distribution of excess water to three uranium mines in the Erongo region – Rio Tinto’s Rossing, Paladin Energy’s Langer Heinrich and Swakop Uranium’s Husab mines.