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Monday, March 19, 2012

Baja California governor visits world's largest desalination plant, in Israel

Spanish company that won contract to build Ensenada desalination plant, projected to open in 2013, has been sold to South Korean corporation

Baja California Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán visited the world's largest desalination plant in Israel, El Mexicano reported (PDF). The Hadera plant opened in 2009 and can generate 127 million cubic meters of water a year, or nearly 348,000 cubic meters daily, at a cost to the Israeli government of $0.57 a cubic meter.

Last summer, the Spanish company OHL Medio Ambiente Inima was given the $29.4 million euro ($38.8 million) contract to design, build and operate a reverse-osmosis desalination plant in Ensenada that could produce 250 liters of water a second (0.25 cubic meters), or 21,600 cubic meters daily, or 7.88 million cubic meters a year. Story, AGP Noticias. The plant is projected to open in 2013 and benefit 96,000. Zeta reported that the company was later sold to South Korea's GS Engineering & Construction Corporation for $231 million euros ($305 million). Story, Zeta. OHL Medio Ambiente Inima also operates the concession for the Los Cabos desalination plant in Baja California Sur, which was inaugurated by President Felipe Calderón in 2007 and was designed to produce 17,280 cubic meters a day for 40,000 people. The plant and associated infrastructure cost $28 million. Water was to be produced at a cost of .90 a cubic meter. Seawater Desalination Plant Cabo San Lucas (PDF). OHL Medio Ambiente Inima page on the plant.

Zeta said a new pipeline parallel to the Colorado River-Tijuana pipeline can bring 1.33 cubic meters a second to the state.

Meanwhile, the San Diego County Water District has published a study saying the total cost it is paying the Metropolitan Water District this year is $959 an acre foot, or $0.777 a cubic meter, adding up all fees and charges, including transportation. The county water district has been suing the Metropolitan Water District over its rates. Study, Page 8 (PDF).

Update, March 20: Governor continues tour of Israel, which apparently includes visits to see innovative irrigation systems.