First seawater desalination plant in Jaffna, Sri Lanka : SUEZ wins the design, construction and operation contract



The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) of Sri Lanka has awarded SUEZ with a new contract to design, build and operate the first-ever desalination plant through sea water reverse osmosis in Jaffna, the capital city of the Northern Province of the country. With a capacity of 24,000 m3, the facility, partly financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), will be designed-built over a period of two and half years, and thereafter operated and maintained by SUEZ for seven years. The plant will provide safe drinking water to 300,000 people of the city of Jaffna and its surrounding urban and rural areas.

The project is part of the Jaffna-Kilinochchi Water Supply and Sanitation Program developed by the Government of Sri Lanka. It aims to enhance the quantity of water available in water-scarce areas and to provide safe drinking water to the people of Jaffna, one of the most densely populated cities in Sri Lanka. With limited surface water sources and deterioration of groundwater over time due to the over-extraction of water for agricultural irrigation and the use of chemicals and pesticides, it has become necessary to find an alternative source of water. Jaffna’s proximity to the sea makes a desalination plant the most appropriate response to cater to the drinking water requirement of its growing population and the region’s sustainable development.

Pioneer of the reverse osmosis desalination technology, SUEZ designs and develops innovative technologies to produce drinking water from saltwater in a sustainable manner while reducing overall operational costs and environmental impacts. The construction of the desalination plant includes intake pipelines and transmission lines, a drinking water pumping station and a reservoir of 10,000 m3 of water per day. The plant further plans a hydraulic capacity of 48,000 m3 of water per day to cater to future expansion.


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