Two ma­jor mile­stones for Malta in the wa­ter sec­tor

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

The Wa­ter Ser­vices Cor­po­ra­tion is de­lighted to an­nounce that it has awarded the ten­der for the de­vel­op­ment of a state-of-the-art re­verse os­mo­sis in Gozo and that it has also is­sued an­other plus €10m ten­der to dis­trib­ute new wa­ter in the south of Malta through a 43km net­work and 242 au­to­mated dis­pensers. Both projects form part of the Cor­po­ra­tion's €130m ma­jor project that is part-fi­nanced by the Euro­pean Union.

The Gozo Re­verse Os­mo­sis has been awarded to AST Clean Wa­ter Tech­nolo­gies for a to­tal value of €11m in­clud­ing VAT. AST has a worldwide pres­ence with head­quar­ters in Is­rael. It worked on projects in Europe, China, the USA, South Amer­ica, Africa and else­where. Its so­lu­tions are also sup­ported by multi­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion of R&D cen­tres based in Is­rael, Europe and the USA.

The Gozo project re­ceived the green light from the Plan­ning Au­thor­ity on 27 Septem­ber and works will start as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter the re­quired con­tracts are signed in the com­ing weeks. The Re­verse Os­mo­sis will have the ca­pac­ity to pro­duce 9,000 cu­bic me­tres of fresh high qual­ity wa­ter per day.

Gozo has so far pre­dom­i­nantly de­pended on ground wa­ter and on a sub­ma­rine pipe­line from Malta. This in­vest­ment will of­fer the is­land of Gozo a se­cure sup­ply and a dras­ti­cally im­proved qual­ity, while en­sur­ing the sustainability of the is­land’s wa­ter ta­ble. The plant reaches im­pres­sive ef­fi­ciency lev­els us­ing just 3.1kwhr per me­tre cubed pro­duced at a pro­duc­tion cost of around €0.40c.

CEO Richard Bilocca ex­plained how through this €11m in­vest­ment “the wa­ter sup­ply in Gozo will be sec­ond to none, in terms of qual­ity, se­cu­rity, ef­fi­ciency and sustainability. From day one upon com­ple­tion, Goz­i­tans, and the in­creas­ing num­ber of vis­i­tors to the is­land of Gozo, will start ben­e­fit­ing from an im­proved ser­vice”. He also thanked the cor­po­ra­tion’s work­ers for their in­ces­sant work. As part of WSC's global project over 200 ten­ders are in prepa­ra­tion with over half al­ready ad­ju­di­cated.

An­other im­por­tant link in this com­pre­hen­sive project is the dis­tri­bu­tion of “new wa­ter”. The cor­po­ra­tion has three plants that are re­cy­cling wa­ter to ex­cep­tional qual­ity and chan­nelling it for agri­cul­tural use. Two of these plants have been in­au­gu­rated in the past months and these are now be­ing com­ple­mented with a more ro­bust and in­ten­sive net­work. A ten­der that is pro­jected to in­cor­po­rate an in­vest­ment of over €10m has just been is­sued and this will pro­vide solid con­nec­tions in a num­ber of ar­eas in­clud­ing parts of Xgha­jra, Zab­bar, Kalkara, Marsas­cala, Ze­j­tun and Marsaxlokk.

The Wa­ter Ser­vices Cor­po­ra­tion has worked on the con­cept of pro­vid­ing a vi­able, high-qual­ity al­ter­na­tive to ground­wa­ter ab­strac­tion for many years. The fruit of all the re­search and in-house de­sign and con­struc­tion by WSC’s tech­ni­cal ex­perts is al­ready im­prov­ing the sit­u­a­tion and will con­tinue to help Malta’s en­vi­ron­ment and wa­ter sustainability, when at the same time giv­ing a new lease of life to the agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity.

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