Chennai to get third desalination plant

India’s Tamil Nadu state government has pushed ahead plans to build a third desalination plant at the city of Chennai with investment from German government funding agency, Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW).

KfW will finalise the deal for the INR 13.71 billion (US$ 208 million) reverse osmosis plant in October. The facility will have a capacity of 150 Ml/d.

The seawater desalination plant, will include a travelling band screen at the inlet with pre- treatment comprising lamella clarifier, dissolved air flotation and ultrafiltration. It will produce potable water

Once it is operational, the plant will supply drinking water to at least 900,000 people in southern and central localities in Chennai.

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa had urged central government to help accelerate the the third desalination plant project as the water levels in the reservoirs supplying Chennai’s drinking water fell to 10% capacity. The government Department of Economic Affairs subsequently sent a proposal to KfW.

The city requires 1,100 Ml/d but the water supplier, Metrowater currently supplies only around 550 Ml/d from its reservoirs and two 100 Ml/d desalination plants at Nemmeli and Minjur newer Chennai. Forecasts are that the city’s water demand will reach 1,600 Ml/d to meet the need from growing industry as well as residential areas. The Chennai-Bengaluru industrial belt in particular, which is expected to comprise more than 10,000 industrial units would add hugely to pressure on water resources.

The state government has allotted funds for a fourth plant in Pattipulam, a few kilometres away from Chennai with a capacity produce potable water initially at 200 Ml/d and eventually at 400 Ml/d.