CAP Djinet Seawater Desalination Plant, Algeria

Challenge:

The uneven distribution of water resources and the severe droughts that suffered over the years led the Algerian authorities to launch a massive program for the construction of large-scale desalination plants.

Previous attempts to solve the water crisis were deployed by the Government, such as the construction of small-scale desalination plants. However, this attempt had little success due to the bad planning of the program and the lack of experience and training of the personnel.

To compensate for this, the authorities decided to build the new plants under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, where the private firms brought the necessary know-how to guarantee the correct management of the water.

 

Solution:

The Cap Djinet project (as part of the large-scale water desalination program) was awarded to FCC Aqualia SA and INIMA Environment SA under a PPP contract. The SPV was created as a joint venture of the firms and the state-owned company Algerian Energy Company (AEC) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the plant. The plant accounts for a daily capacity of 100.000 m3 of drinking water that is sold to the Algerian Water Authority (ADE).

This way, the PPP scheme benefits both sides of the partnership, as the private sector can bring the technology, expertise, investments and market efficiency while the public sector can provide off take guarantees, co-investment and facilitate the necessary administrative requirements to fulfill the project without further delay.

SDG Impact:

Goal 6: clean water and sanitations. The plant allowed the authorities to supply drinking water to the population, many of whom were suffering from a water scarcity.

Goal 13: climate action. Before the construction of the plant, the Algerian population had to obtain water from water wells and water dams, which led to their over-exploitation, causing a severe impact to the ecosystem. The desalination program allowed easing the water withdrawal, contributing the climate action.

Goal 14: Life below water. As previously said, the plants prevented from an over-exploitation of reservoirs, contributing to the reduction of negative externalities for underwater fauna.

Goal 15: Life on land. The new supply of water also provided a supply for irrigation. The percentage of agricultural irrigated land saw a continuous increase after the desalination program was deployed, reducing the pressure on the environment.

Goal 17: partnerships for the goals as the project was developed using a public-private collaboration. The private sector is responsible to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the plant jointly with the public sector that allows a faster fulfillment of the administrative requirements. The public sector also benefits from the private sector know-how on large-scale water projects while transferring some risks.

Compliance with UNECE People-first PPP criteria:

The Project:

  • Increase people’s welfare by supplying a vital resource.
  • Foster economic development by supplying water for agricultural and industrial purposes.
  • Provides a more egalitarian access to water given the uneven distribution of this resource in the country.

More information

This case study aspires to be People-first Public-Private Partnerships project and is published as received from the proponents.