Águas do Algarve submits environmental impact study to build desalination plant

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Águas do Algarve has delivered the environmental impact study of the future desalination plant in the Algarve, and is now waiting for the green light from the Portuguese Environment Agency to open the tender for its construction, the company announced today.

According to a statement from Águas do Algarve, “the alternative under analysis is developed, spatially, in the municipality of Albufeira” and the new water production unit from salt water will be financed under the Recovery and Resilience Plan with an investment of around 50 million euros.

According to several sources contacted by Agência Lusa, the new desalination plant should be built in the Rocha Baixinha area, in the municipality of Albufeira which borders that of Loulé, but this location may still undergo some adjustments, depending on the environmental impact study.

The desalination plant will produce 16 million cubic meters of fresh water, which means more than 20% of the Algarve’s public supply needs, estimated at 72 million cubic meters, according to Águas do Algarve.

The Government announced in early June that it would propose the construction of a desalination plant in the municipality of Albufeira, Algarve, and that it intended to open the tender by the end of the year.

Águas do Algarve submits environmental impact study to build desalination plant

“According to the studies carried out by Águas de Portugal and which will be delivered for the environmental impact assessment, the place where we will propose the installation of the desalination plant is the municipality of Albufeira,” said the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro, at the Assembly of the Republic in Lisbon, during a debate on water.

From now on, the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) has a maximum limit of five months to carry out the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and issue the Environmental Impact Statement (DIA) that will allow it to proceed to the contract tender for its construction, a source from Águas do Algarve explained to Lusa.

The company’s statement said that the construction of the new unit will allow “the realization of an alternative capable of guaranteeing the resilience of public supply to the population of the Algarve region, even in periods of prolonged drought, aiming to guarantee the availability of water for current and future consumption”.

The project will also allow “the increase of the resilience of the public water supply system for the entire Algarve taking into account the seasonal behavior of the verified consumptions and the fact that the water from the desalination process will feed the distribution system managed by Águas do Algarve to serve the region”.

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