Namibia moves to buy Areva desalination plant

Namibia has moved on its declared intention to offer to buy Areva’s 20 million m³/d water desalination plant in the country.

Both sides are poised to start formal negotiations. According to permanent-secretary in Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Joseph Iita: “The offer has been made but we are still to start the negotiations.

“We have started engaging Areva, we haven’t reached a point where I can talk about the price [offer] yet,” he said.

Namibia wants ownership of the plant, to secure supplies for uranium-mining operations and to supply drinking water to towns in the semi-arid Erongo region and western coastal area.

French infrastructure giant, Areva, built the plant to secure supplies for its Trekkopje uranium project that was mothballed in 2012 due to low uranium prices.

Namibia is running short of water for its coastal towns: Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Henties Bay. Traditional sources such as the Omaruru delta and Kuiseb River aquifers dwindled last year during Namibia’s worst drought for 30 years.