Private firm gets extension to maintain desal plant

VA Tech Wabag, the water treatment firm, has got an extension for six months to operate and maintain the desalination plant at Nemmeli along the East Coast Road.

The plant was commissioned in 2013. Chennai Metrowater had set up the facility with a capacity to treat 100 million litres of seawater daily (mld) on engineering, procurement and contract basis.

According to sources in VA Tech Wabag, the firm has completed seven years of operation and maintenance, and now has been given an extension for operation.

The capacity of the plant was upgraded to 110 mld through technological intervention.

However, the water agency has restricted supply from the desalination plant to 88.25 mld now as it is drawing more from the city reservoirs that have sufficient storage. Chennai is now being supplied with 900.94 mld of drinking water. Of this, nearly 697 mld is being provided through pipelines in core areas, and nearly 122 mld as piped water supply to added areas.

Sources at the VA Tech Wabag said it is also one of the qualified bidders for the 400 mld desalination plant to be set up in Perur. Tenders will be finalised in the next few months.

Minister for Municipal Administration K.N. Nehru had recently noted that the work on ₹6,078 crore plant is expected to be completed by December 2025. Treated water would be supplied to nearly 22 lakh people in areas such as Tambaram, Chitlapakkam, Pammal, Kundrathur and Siruseri.

VA Tech Wabag, which will celebrate its silver jubilee year in water industry this year, is also awaiting clearance for expansion of capacity in the Koyambedu tertiary treatment reverse osmosis plant. There are plans to upgrade capacity from 45 mld to 60 mld.

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