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Essel Infra to set up Rs 1000-cr desal plant in Gujarat

Mumbai : Essel Infraprojects has bagged a major project to set up a 100 million litre per day (MLD) desalination plant in Gujarat. The project cost is Rs 1000 crore and it is the largest public private partnership (PPP) investment for a seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination project in India.

Essel Infraprojects has entered into a concession agreement with Gujarat Water Infrastructure Limited (GWIL) to design, build, finance, operate and transfer the desalination at Jodiya taluka of Jamnagar. The project is expected to help overcome water scarcity in the parched areas of the state.

The desalination project will provide supplies to the state's water grid for the next 25 years. Water will be transported from Jodiya to Hirapar through a pipeline. At Hirapar, the pipeline will connect to Gujarat’s existing water grid to boost supplies to Jamnagar, Rajkot and Morbi cities besides adjoining areas.

Overall, the plant will supply 10 crore litre of treated high quality water to the water grid and reduce the state's heavy dependence on Narmada River for meeting its water requirement.

The entire project cost will be borne by Essel Infraprojects while the Gujarat government will pay for the treated water.

News reports suggest the state Government is looking to set up as many as seven-eight desalination plants along the coastline including in Porbandar, Dwarka, Veraval and Ghogha (Bhavnagar).

Essel Infraprojects said the desalination plant will have availability of 95 per cent or more and would supply water without any interruption. "The plant will provide complete water security against weather conditions and other natural interruptions," the company said.

Essel Infraprojects has tied up with Spain's Abengoa for sourcing desalination technology for the project.

The company said that the plant would use proven technology of seawater reverse osmosis and convert sea water to drinking water quality as per stringent quality standards. The technology works on the RO principles using high pressure of 80 Bar and passing seawater through RO membrane. Treated water from such plants is normally even better then drinking grade water, it said.

"Clean drinking water is a primary requirement, and we are committed to help Gujarat develop its water infrastructure by bringing in latest technology and investments. I appreciate Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's initiative to make Gujarat self sufficient in water resources", said Essel Group Chairman Dr Subhash Chandra.

Gujarat has taken a lead in the development of this innovative public-private partnership (PPP) model, which can help bring in large private investment in the water sector and can generate a billion litre of water across the coastline of the country. It can remove the scarcity of water not only in Gujarat but also in other parts of India, the company said.

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