Delays hit desal programme

10 January 2003
The bid closing date to construct desalination plants at Zawia and Misurata has been extended to 31 March. Contractors were invited to submit bids in October for the construction of the two plants on a turnkey basis. The client, the General Electricity Company of Libya (Gecol), has proposed that each plant produce 80,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) of drinking water using multi-effect distillation with thermal vapour compression (MED-TVC) technology.

Gecol is still evaluating bids, submitted in September 2001, for the construction of two other desalination plants. Three companies, Sidemof France, Italy's Fisia Italimpiantiand Wier Westgarthremain in the running for the plants in Tripoli and Benghazi, with Sidem cited as the frontrunner. With a capacity of 250,000 cm/d, the Tripoli plant will be the largest project in Gecol's desalination programme. Its counterpart in Benghazi South will be marginally smaller, having a proposed capacity of 240,000 cm/d. Both plants will be built using multi-stage flash (MSF) technology (MEED 2:11:01).

The desalination plants form part of Gecol's ambitious 10-year programme for the construction of 11 new plants across the country requiring an estimated investment of $1,000 million. Once installed, the new units will provide an additional 700,000 cm/d of drinking water to the arid North African country (MEED 20:7:01).

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