The largest reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant in North Africa, the Mactaa seawater desalination mega plant, was inaugurated near Oran in Algeria on 10 November.

The plant has a capacity of 500,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d). It will produce 265,000 cm/d from January 2015, and reach full capacity in January 2017.

The $632m construction contract was awarded in 2008 to Singapore’s Hyflux, which has a 47 per cent stake in the project. It is the largest scheme being carried out by Algerian Energy Company, which owns a 43 per cent stake, and L’Algerienne des Eaux, which owns a 10 per cent stake.

The firms are now exploring investment opportunities to exploit the 500,000 cm/d of brine the plant will produce.

Although located in Oran, the facility will supply the regions of Mascara, Relizane and Tiaret et Mostaganem.

Algeria currently has nine desalination plants and is constructing two more, with another two in development. The country is investing heavily in the construction of dams, desalination facilities and distribution networks.