Mexico invests heavily in six new desalination projects

Mexico is investing more than one billion pesos in six initiatives to construct seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants on the country’s coast where, according to national water authority Conagua, water availability is low while there is high potential for development.

Major projects are planned in Tijuana, the Baja California peninsular and in Sonora state Investment in the projects from Mexico’s national infrastructure programme, Fonadin, totals more than 1,100 million pesos (US$ 75.5 million) while private sector investment is 1,850 pesos (US$ 127 million).

Desalination plants in Baja California Sur’s state capital, La Paz, and in Los Cabos are scheduled to begin construction this year.

The first phase of the La Paz plant will have an output capacity of 17.3 Ml/d according to Conagua. Investment is estimated at 545 million pesos (US$ 37.4 million) with 60% coming from the private sector with Fonadin providing the balance.

Degrémont México, has expressed interest in participating in the public tender to build the La Paz plant. And the North American Development Bank (NADB) is investing 320 million pesos (US$ 22 million) in a desalination plant at Ensenada city in Baja California state which is valued by Conagua at 517 million pesos (US$ 35.5 million).

Investment for the 35 Ml/d Los Cabos desalination plant, meanwhile, has yet to be disclosed.

Conagua’s strategic project portfolio includes a 86.4 Ml/d seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant in Tijuana – a collaboration with the US -  two at Ensenada in in Baja California state; two in Baja California Sur at Los Cabos and La Paz; and one at San Carlos in Sonora state.

Other projects identified under Fonadin include a desalination plant in Quintana Roo state for the island beach resort, Cozumel.