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Home | Torrevieja | Torrevieja’s desalination plant suffers further delays

Torrevieja’s desalination plant suffers further delays

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Torrevieja’s desalination plant suffers further delays

Since it was first announced, Torrevieja’s desalination plant has been one of controversy.

Not wanted and objected to by local and regional government, the plant was pushed forward by the newly elected PSOE government as a way to provide much needed water, strangely not so much to Torrevieja but primarily as drinking water and for agricultural land in Murcia and inland.  

It now seems that the 250 million euro project may be delayed a further two years due to the lack of sufficient power to operate the plant! From the outset sceptics noted that for an estimated two-and-a-half-million euros per month (building the plant, removal of waste mater plus operational costs over a 17-year period), the money could have been put to better use diverting water from the Ebro Valley or even shipping in water by the tanker load, on a regular schedule, from as far away as Alaska!

As with other similar plants, it has an estimated seventeen-year lifespan and environmental concerns have been raised due to the issue of building so close to the salt lakes and pumping waste into the Mediterranean! Whilst in power, the PP set their sights on diverting water from the Ebro to the Murcian region. To many this made sense as the Ebro Valley floods annually. However, a political deal was struck by President Zapatero ensuring those of the Ebro Valley that their water would not be diverted in order to obtain their votes.  

Información newspaper reports that the plant requires its own electricity sub-station plus a high-tension line to be laid eight kilometres from San Miguel de Salinas to Torrevieja! It’s common knowledge that desalination plants around the world need a huge amount of power to operate, in fact, they require more power in than the City of Torrevieja uses itself! So it may come as a surprise to learn that apparently planning permission has not been sought for the new high tension lines to run across country, which shall not only take time to lay but have a disruptive effect on local transportation and the environment!

The new desalination plant will be largest in Europe (2nd largest in the World) when it comes into operation. State company Acuamed recently announced that the plant would be operational before the end of 2009 but it now seems that 2010 or even 2011 may be a more realistic time scale.

Keith Nicol

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (1 posted)

Robert Archbold 07 August, 2009 02:59:41
I though that delays and white elephants like this only happened in Ireland
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