Albufeira or Lagos: Desalination plant will be installed in one of these Algarve municipalities

Desalination plant will have greater capacity than initially planned and will cost 10 million euros more

Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação

The Algarve desalination plant will be born in the municipalities of Albufeira or Lagos and will have a greater capacity than initially planned, revealed Duarte Cordeiro, Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, this Friday, January 13, during a visit to the dam of Odeleite, in the municipality of Castro Marim. 

«We ended up having 12 potential locations, but we boiled them down to two municipalities: Albufeira or Lagos. With the environmental impact study, we will make the decision», said the minister, adding that the study should be delivered to the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) in the coming weeks.

Although the exact location for the installation of the plant that will produce drinking water from sea water has not been revealed, the Sul Informação you know that, in the municipality of Albufeira, the possibility is the area of ​​Rocha Baixinha.

During the visit to the Algarve, the minister also added that, together with Águas de Portugal and the Algarve, a decision had been taken to increase the capacity of the desalination plant to reach 24 cubic hectometers.

«The desalination plant we had was a desalination plant that could handle eight cubic hectometers, and potentially use up to 16, and now the decision has been taken to increase the size in order to reach up to 24 cubic hectometers», highlighted the minister, stressing that the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), from which the funds will come to pay for the plant, "is very ambitious, has several works" and many entities involved, but "firm steps" are being taken to move forward.

According to Duarte Cordeiro, the decision to increase the desalination plant's production capacity was taken now because it was «the right time, before making the investment».


Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


«Right now, the Algarve is one of the areas of the country that worries us the most», the minister also stressed, adding that different realities are experienced in Sotavento and Barlavento.

«In the Sotavento area there is already capacity for around 60% of what is storage, while in the Barlavento area we are concerned, because we have dams with lower supply levels», said Duarte Cordeiro, during this morning's visit to the Odeleite Dam (Castro Marim municipality), where the first water efficiency work in the region financed by the PRR is about to be completed.

«It is a matter that we are following very carefully, very carefully, even today we are going to have a meeting with the Association of Municipalities and also with the CCDR, to listen to everyone regarding what the current situation is, to understand the level of recovery that we have, make a point of situation", he continued.

Regarding the increase in costs that implies increasing the capacity of the desalination plant, Duarte Cordeiro said that the budget increased from 40 to around 50 million euros and that, if there are no financing conditions via the PRR, other sources of financing will be found.

«This did not inhibit decision-making, the decision has been made, the desalination plant will be larger than expected», concluded the minister.

As for future desalination plants in the country, Sines is one of the cities to be studied.

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