Second desalination plant gets the nod

Calle Schlettwein

Construction of a second desalination plant with a capacity of about 20 million cubic metres will start in January 2025.

This was said by agriculture, water and land reform minister Calle Schlettwein when he addressed the launch of a developmental initiative at Henties Bay in the Erongo region yesterday.

Schlettwein said if things go according to plan, fresh desalinated water will be available from this plant in early 2027.

The other desalination facility in region is the Orano desalination plant.

Schlettwein said while the Erongo region draws water from two groundwater aquifers – the Omaruru Delta and the Kuiseb Delta near Walvis Bay, as well as Orano – these have reached the limit of sustainable supply, which currently stands at about 30 million cubic metres per year.

“Your ambitious development plans, as well as those of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, increased mining activities and industrial demand and last but not least, agriculture and food production have increased the projected demand beyond what the sources can deliver,” he said.

The Chamber of Mines recently expressed concern that water shortages in the region were impacting production, particularly of uranium.

Schlettwein said the Maritime Industrial Estate and Dry Zone being spearheaded by Henties Bay includes a modular green crude refinery and bio oil refinery, ensuring Namibia’s self-sufficiency in refined petroleum products and biofuels, while fostering economic growth through strategic reserves and export opportunities.

Schlettwein said as the country embarked on this transformative journey, population pressure means certain requirement must be met.
He said by 2050, the continent’s population, including that of Namibia, is expected to double and more people will live in urban settlements.

“Securing land and advancing pre-development activities for securing bulk supply of water and electricity, housing and social infrastructure, such as schools, clinics and hospitals, are paramount,” he said.

He advised the Henties Bay Town Council to discuss the concept of establishing schemes under the Flexible Land Tenure Act, so that low-income earners can be provided with land tenure.

The minister said the sanitation systems of all three towns – Walvis bay, Swakopmund and Henties Bay – are in need of refurbishment and enlargement.

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