Oman desalination project approaches completion
Barka plant nears finish line as further projects are proposed
Water capacity in Oman is set to receive a sizable boost by the end of the year when the Barka desalination plant project comes online.
Oman Daily Observer reports that the Barka reverse osmosis desalination project, being developed by ACWA Power Barka, will make new capacity available to the Omani network by October of this year.
The new plant is an expansion of the adjoining Barka I power and desalination project and will add 45,000 m³ per day of water capacity to the facility, taking Barka I’s total potable water output to 136,200 m³ day.
Both Barka I and Barka II supply their output to what is called the “Interconnected Zone”, which serves the governorates of Muscat, Batinah North, Batinah South, Buraimi, Dakhiliya, and eventually Dhahirah.
This zone will enjoy further capacity when the Ghubrah Independent Water Project (IWP), currently under construction, is is commissioned in October 2014, providing 191,000 m³ per day to the network.
The capacity of the zone could be further increased by a proposal from SMN Barka Power Company, which owns and operates the Barka II power and water project in Batinah South Governorate, to expand its water desalination capacity.
Meanwhile, SMN Power Holding has confirmed that it is in talks with the government-owned Oman Power & Water Procurement Co to extend its existing desalination plant.
It is planning to produce an extra 30,000 m³ per day of potable water at SMN Barka II on top of the plant's existing desalination capacity of 120,000 m³ per day.
The additional potable water output is proposed to come from reverse osmosis (RO) units fed by beach wells to be located near the existing site.
"By proposing additional desalinated water capacity, the company affirms its intention to participate in the development of Oman’s infrastructure to support the authorities in their continuous efforts to meet the strong water demand growth and improve the security of water supply in the Sultanate," the company said in a statement to the Muscat bourse.
Oman Power & Water Procurement has said that development and population growth has meant that water demand is expected to grow from 216 million gallons per day last year, to 318 million by 2019.
SMN Power Holding said that discussions about the extension "are in the early stage and the project is subject to commercial feasibility and various approvals by the authorities, the board of directors, shareholders and project financers."