Gandhinagar : A consortium of Japanese and Singaporean companies led by Japan's Hitachi will set up Asia's largest seawater desalination plant in Gujarat.
The other members of the consortium are Japan's Itochu and Singapore-based Hyflux.
The consortium on March 22 signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat Government to set up the mega desalination plant in Dahej special economic zone (SEZ) in south Gujarat.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Japanís Ambassador Akitaka Saiki, Gujarat's Minister of State for Energy Saurabh Patel and Gujarat Chief Secretary AK Joti.
The 300 MLD desalination plant is expected to need investment of around Rs 3,000 crore.
To be set up on design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) basis in two phases, the plant is likely to produce 70 MGD of sweet water for industrial use on completion. Work for the project is likely to begin in October.
The project is expected to be completed in three years.
The consortium has established 'Dahej Spring Desalination Private Ltd' to implement the mega infrastructure project. The main feature of co-developer agreement is to secure the rights to supply water to industrial parks in the Dahej SEZ.
The goal of the desalination project is to resolve shortages of industrial water to be supplied to companies setting up operations in the coastal industrial region of Dahej.
The project is part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project being promoted jointly by the Japanese and Indian Governments, involving the construction of industrial parks between Delhi and Mumbai (approximately 1,500 km) utilizing private sector capital.
Modi described the agreement as Gujarat Governmentís landmark initiative for water management on World Water Day.
The project would prove to be a boon for a water-deficit state like Gujarat in recycling sea water and in water conservation measures. The project would also be unique in the sense as it would be run on solar energy. The Gujarat Government would not like to use the water meant for drinking and irrigation for industries, said Modi.
The project has been reviewed for its commercialization feasibility under the "Feasibility study of smart community business in global markets" and is supported by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
The feasibility study was conducted following a joint statement issued at the Japan-India Annual Bilateral Summit held in December 2009, in which Japan pledged to contribute to the construction of a model of energy saving and low carbon smart community.
According to news reports, the consortium proposes to buy up 30 hectares of land in Dahej SEZ.
Upon completion, the desalination plant will supply water to units in SEZ as well as enterprises being set up in Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR), Dahej, which is the fastest developing special investment region in the DMIC.
The proposed cost of the desalinized water from the plant is expected to be Rs 40 per 1,000 litres, a significant drop from other desalination plants in India.
The Gujarat Government has been among the most active states in India in terms fo inviting the private sector in developing water supply infrastructure.