Bank lends US$ 22 million to Korean firm to fund Mexican desalination project

The North American Development Bank has provided a U$ 22 million loan to South Korean company GS Inima Environment which is building a US$ 48 million, 28.5 Ml/d reverse osmosis desalination plant in Ensenada, Mexico.

The plant will be an important new source of water for the city, whose residents have been struggling with water shortages. Ensenada is the only municipality in Baja California that is not supplied by the Colorado River, and receives most of its water from four aquifers that supply
79 Ml/d. The future plant would provide an additional 28.5 Ml/d. Baja California authorities have estimated that the plant would be completed in 2016.

The North American Development Bank was created by the USA and Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement to finance projects that enhance the environment and quality of life in border communities. The Ensenada plant was the first time that the bank has provided financing for a desalination plant, according to a statement last week.

To build the plant, the Baja California state government has contracted with a private company, Aguas de Ensenada, owned by GS Inima Environment.

Mexico’s federal government has provided US$ 14 million for the plant’s construction through its National Infrastructure fund.
The Ensenada plant would be the second utility-scale desalination plant in Mexico. It will have more than one-tenth the capacity of the desalination plant under construction in Carlsbad.