Nevisian Leader indicates Desalination plant is nearing implementation stage
Plans to construct a solar powered desalination plant in Nevis are advancing towards the implementation stage, Premier Mark Brantley recently revealed.
The Premier said through his diplomatic negotiations with the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during his tenure as Foreign Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, he had successfully procured two such plants, one for St. Kitts and one for Nevis. He noted there had been some delay in the process however, plans to erect the plant on Nevis are now moving forward.
“We had been held up for some time but I’m told there is now progress and that that solar water desalination project- and that’s important, because it’s powered by solar (energy) and so the idea is that of course it ought not to be impacted adversely by the increasing cost of electricity- the contract has been awarded to Mascara Nouvelles Technologies for the EPC, that’s the Engineering, Procurement and Construction for the Nevis Solar PV Desalination Plant. We eagerly await for the work and development on this project.”
Desalination plants are used to remove salts and minerals from saline (salt) water, especially sea water, to produce water suitable for human consumption or irrigation.
Mr. Brantley explained that even though it will be a small plant, it would be very beneficial to the island. The project is expected to play a significant role in helping to ensure an adequate supply of water for the populace during drought conditions.
“(Desalination)…will add to the availability of water and it makes sense because we are surrounded by ocean. So if we could find a way to convert that to potable water, particularly if we can do that for the hotel sector and those that are along our beaches, I believe that that would do very well for the island in terms of our security in water. Water is life and we have to do all that we can to ensure that we continue to deliver for the people of Nevis.”
The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has over the past few years invested heavily in ensuring that the people of Nevis have a regular and reliable source of potable water.
“We have done a tremendous level of work…We’ve invested significantly in upgrading our storage capacity, in upgrading our distribution capacity. In fact we’ve spent over $40 million in that vein here on the island of Nevis. We’ve also upgraded significantly our availability of water when we invested in a water treatment facility for a well at Hamilton that was there, a high producing well, but because the water had too much manganese in it we could not put it into the system because water in our system has to meet minimum World Health Organization standards. So we invested in that treatment plant and we now have over an additional 200,000 gallons of water going into our system as a result of that investment…
“We are upgrading all the pipes across the island in various communities to four inch mains and as a result of that we hope to offer a far better, more regular and more reliable supply of water to our people,” the Premier said.
Earlier this year the Nevis Water Department began preparatory work for the installation of a new water storage tank in the Pond Hill/Zetlands area in Gingerland.
Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister responsible for Water Services, had informed that the government procured a Florida Aquastore glass-fused 250,000-gallon storage tank which will replace the current leaking fibre glass tank.
He said this new tank will increase the island’s water storage capacity by 70,000 gallons, supplying water to the Brown Pasture, Morning Star, Church Ground, Brown Hill, Cherry Garden and other surrounding communities.