The seawater desalination plant, which is being built at a cost of R210 million at Voorbaai in Mossel Bay, is now 95 per cent complete overall and expected to be completed by the middle of February 2011.
The seawater-intake pipeline has just been laid and the brine-outlet pipeline is scheduled to be laid this weekend.
On completion of the construction phase the plant will enter into a commissioning phase, which will take approximately three weeks to complete. The plant should therefore be able to go into full production by the first week of March 2011.
The rehabilitation of the affected beach area and dunes will commence as soon as possible after the completion of the pipelines. The cofferdam that was built to facilitate the laying of the intake and outlet pipelines will be demolished and the beach and dune will be restored to their original state.
The rehabilitation of the dune will include the replanting of vegetation, which was removed and kept elsewhere until the construction work could be completed.
Construction of the plant, which will have a capacity of 15 megalitres of desalinated seawater per day, commenced in June 2010.
The onshore plant is located on PetroSA’s logistics site at Voorbaai. The company, which will be entitled to 5 megalitres of the plant’s daily yield, contributed R80 million to the cost of the project. The National Treasury contributed R92 million and the balance is being financed by the Municipality.
Although the plant was undertaken as an emergency project when Mossel Bay was in the grip of the worst drought in 133 years since records were kept, it adds to Mossel Bay’s water security. Mossel Bay has until now relied mainly on surface water.
It will also ensure that the town has sufficient water to cope with future developments in the municipal district.