Chennai to get more desal after Nemmeli award

Published 7th January 2010

The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) has awarded its second 100,000m3/d desalination plant to VA Tech Wabag and IDE Technologies on a 7-year DBO basis. The $254 million project will be financed partly through a central government grant and partly by CMWSSB itself.

The availability of internal cash resources meant that the Chennai authorities were not obliged to turn to private finance, as was the case with the 100,000m3/d desal plant at Minjur, which is due to come online later this year to serve metropolitan Chennai.

Despite the forward-looking approach taken by CMWSSB, desalination will only go some way to plugging the city’s demand-supply gap. Water demand is expected to rise from 1.2 million m3/d at present to 2.05 million m3/d by 2025, and the unpredictability of rainfall, on which the city relies heavily, means that CMWSSB is already considering more desalination capacity, an official told GWI.