Metrowater to get supply at the rate of Rs.48.74 per 1,000 litres

Chennai Metrowater will be supplied water from the 100-million-litres-a-day desalination plant at Kattupalli near Minjur at the rate of Rs.48.74 per 1,000 litres. The plant, established on 60 acre at a cost of Rs.600 crore, will be inaugurated by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Saturday.

The facility has been implemented on a design, build, own, operate and transfer basis by Chennai Water Desalination Limited (CWDL), which is a special purpose vehicle of IVRCL Infrastructures and Project Limited and Befesa Aqua, Spain.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday, CWDL director S. Ramachandran  said there is also a possibility of enhancing the desalination plant's capacity by 20 million litres. A decision would be taken after discussion with the State government. The capacity expansion could be completed in less than 15 months.

On the delay in commissioning of the project – originally the desalination plant was to be commissioned in 2008 – he said the rough sea condition posed difficulties during the laying of the pipelines to draw raw water and let out the waste water. Nearly one year was lost in resolving the problem. Prior to this, about eight months were spent in getting additional clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest. As a result of the delays, the project cost went up from Rs.540 crore to Rs.600 crore. Power consumption, which would work out to 3.51 kilowatt per cubic metre of water, would account for 30 per cent of the production cost, Mr. Ramachandran said.

CWDL has already begun supplying water to the Chennai Metrowater, he added. As per an agreement in 2005, the company would maintain and operate the plant for 25 years after which the facility would be transferred to the water agency.

CWDL's Deputy General Manager (operations) N. Ganesan and Befesa India's Managing Director Rodolfo Gonzalez were present.