Morocco starts Africa's largest desalination plant with 6.5 billion dirhams investment

(with MAP)
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On Monday, Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan inaugurated the construction of the Casablanca desalination plant in the municipality of Lamharza Essahel, in the province of El Jadida. The plant, the largest of its kind in Africa, will have an annual production capacity of 300 million m3 and serve an estimated population of 7.5 million.

The project is an integral part of the «Improving Water Supply» axis of the National Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation Program 2020-2027, launched by King Mohammed VI in 2020 at a total cost of 143 billion dirhams.

The future plant, which will meet the growing demand for water in Greater Casablanca, Settat, Berrechid, Bir Jdid and the surrounding regions, will be built in two phases on a 50-hectare site and will require a total investment of 6.5 billion dirhams to be mobilized through a public-private partnership.

In the first phase, scheduled to be operational by the end of 2026, the plant will have a capacity of 548,000 m3 of treated water per day (200 million m3 per year), which can be expanded in a second phase (scheduled for mid-2028) to 822,000 m3 per day, i.e. an additional 100 million m3 per year, including 50 million m3 for agricultural use.

This major project includes the construction of a reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant and the installation of a drinking water conveyance system consisting of three pumping stations, three storage reservoirs and a distribution network of nearly 130 kilometers of supply pipes. This drinking water transport system will require an investment of 3 billion dirhams, financed by public funds.

Casablanca's latest generation seawater desalination plant will include two 1,850-meter seawater intake pipes, a 2,500-meter outfall pipe, reverse osmosis desalination units (pressure filter and microfilter), a sludge treatment unit, a control and management center, pumping stations, and a reservoir to store the produced drinking water.

With a drinking water production cost estimated at 4.48 DH/m3, the future plant will be 100 pc, powered by renewable energy and its management will be fully automated.

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