GE opens biggest water plant in Algeria
Algiers, February 25, 2008
GE Water and Process Technologies, a unit of General Electric Company, has opened the $250 million Hamma Seawater Desalination Plant (SWDP) as part of its initiative to provide water supply to millions in Algiers.
Hamma SWDP is North Africa’s first large-scale reverse osmosis desalination plant to be funded by a joint venture that combines public and private equity investment.
The special project company Hamma Water Desalination SpA combines 70 per cent funding from General Electric and 30 per cent from the state-owned Algerian Energy Company.
GE was also awarded a 25-year contract to operate and maintain the plant.
Africa’s largest seawater desalination plant, SWDP, aims to put an end to the persistent shortage of potable water in the city of Algiers.
It was officially opened by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Jeff Garwood president and CEO, GE Water & Process Technologies.
'Completed on time and on budget in 24 months, the Hamma SWDP uses GE’s advanced ecomagination-certified reverse osmosis membranes to purify up to 200,000 cubic meters of seawater per day - providing as many as two million residents of Algiers with a reliable and drought-proof supply of fresh water,' said a government official.
For many years adequate water supplies in Algiers were nearly unattainable, as residential and industrial demand has significantly outstripped supply.
More than 2.5 million rural dwellers have resettled in Algiers over the past half-century, inflating the population and severely straining the city’s water supplies and infrastructure.
As a result, residents faced serious water shortages, and often received water for only a few hours each day or sometimes only once every three days.
“We are proud to be a partner in the Hamma Seawater Desalination Plant. This is a great example of how private and public partnerships can help solve urgent water needs,' said Garwood.
'Partnerships like this one, with the Algerian Government and AEC, combined with our global scale, financing capabilities, and broad portfolio of equipment, chemicals and services put GE in a unique position to provide solutions for the world's growing water challenges.'
'Our momentum continues to build and in 2008 we expect to grow GE's large structured projects, like Hamma, by 80 per cent. We are excited about our prospects in the coming year and we look forward to delivering affordable, on-time and on-budget water treatment solutions to customers around the globe,' Garwood added.
The Overseas Private Investment Company, which helps US businesses invest in new and emerging overseas markets, financed $200 million towards the project.-TradeArabia News Service