The work order for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) ’s proposed desalination plant project at Manori is likely to be issued by August, The Times Of India reported quoting city municipal commissioner and administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal.
The plant to be set up at Manori, a seaside hamlet located in the northernmost end of suburban Mumbai, will treat and transform the naturally saline water from the Arabian Sea to address the water needs of Mumbai residents.
The proposed plant, which will process 200 million litres of water daily (MLD) when fully functional, aims to diversify water supply sources for the city. Mumbai currently depends on seven lakes for the city’s daily water needs.
The desalination plant will also help overcome a water shortage faced by Mumbai in the summer. The water supply to the households is typically curtailed by 10%-15% during the summer months. BMC currently supplies around 3,800 MLD of water to the city, against a total demand of 4,200 MLD.
The plant will be set up on 12 hectares (29.6 acres) of government-owned land at Manori and can be scaled up for future capacity expansion. The BMC has already earmarked land for the proposed plant.
The city’s first desalination plant is estimated to cost Rs 1,600 crore. The ongoing maintenance for the next 20 years is expected to cost another Rs 1,920 crore.
In the recently unveiled Rs 52,619.07 crore BMC budget, which gave a significant impetus to big-ticket infrastructure projects in the city, a sum of Rs 200 crore was provisioned for desalination-related projects.
In January 2021, BMC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IDE Water Technologies, a leading provider of seawater desalination plants, and appointed them as a consultant for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR). The DPR was submitted in November 2022.
The proposal for the tender is being finalised, and the bids for the development of the plant will be invited on an international-competitive bidding basis.
The bidding for the project development and operation is likely to be on Swiss Challenge method with IDE having right of first refusal.
In a desalination plant, a host of processes remove the excess salt and other minerals from saline water to obtain fresh water suitable for irrigation, and if almost all of the salt is removed, for human consumption, sometimes producing table salt as a byproduct.