Government wants to launch a tender to build a desalination plant in January

Duarte Cordeiro also spoke of the objective of trying to “anticipate” the opening, scheduled for September, of the competition for water collection in Pomarão

The Government plans to open the tender for the construction of the desalination plant this month, the Minister of the Environment announced this Wednesday, January 17th. 

Duarte Cordeiro made this announcement on press conference after the meeting of the Permanent Commission for Prevention, Monitoring and Follow-up of the Effects of Drought which took place at the headquarters of the Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission, in Faro, where new measures were announced.

The desalination plant, which will be built next to the final section of the Quarteira river, close to Rocha Baixinha beach, on the coast of the municipality of Albufeira, will have the capacity to treat 16 cubic hectometers (hm3) of water per year, reaching up to 24 , in a second phase.

Currently, the Environmental Impact Assessment is being carried out, the study of which was under public consultation until December 19th.

This project is part of the Algarve Regional Water Efficiency Plan, being one of the Investments foreseen in Component C09 – Water Management of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR).

The truth is that environmental associations such as Almargem and Zero have already demonstrated against the construction of the desalination plant, showing «large reservations» about the investment.

One of the aspects highlighted is the fact that there is no “analysis of the impact that the production costs of desalinated water will have on the tariffs charged to final consumers and on the economic-financial balance of the entities managing supply services”.

According to Zero and Almargem, «considering that desalinated water may cost ten times more than water produced traditionally, it could significantly increase the tariffs paid by consumers».

«This analysis is even more relevant when the new strategy for the sector (PENSAARP 2030), recently approved by the Council of Ministers, highlighted the excessive dependence on subsidies of a significant part of managing entities and the need to implement tariff increases as a way of reduction of this dependence and ensuring compliance with the user-pays principle, which if achieved in the Algarve as it is being introduced into the supply system, water with a substantially higher production cost could result in the burden of consumers too much effort”, they say.

Added to this is the fact that the project "evidently harms the objective of mitigating climate change due to its clear contribution in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, which is very significant."

At this press conference, Duarte Cordeiro also spoke of the objective of trying to “anticipate” the opening, scheduled for September, of the competition for water collection in Pomarão.


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