Erongo Desalination Plant


Location: Swakopmund, Namibia

Client: Areva Resources Namibia
Capacity: 54,000m3/day
Completion date: August 2010
Technology: Pre-treatment using Ultrafiltration followed by RO
Operated and maintained by: Aveng Water to 2020 (under 10 year contract)

The Trekkopje Uranium Project is located in the desert of the Erongo region of Namibia. It is a low-grade, shallow uranium deposit that is mined by open cast methods. With the lack of groundwater and surface water resources and the abundantly rich mineral reserves in the area, as well as the associated water intensive nature of mineral extraction, desalination was the only viable solution to support the development of Areva Resources Uranium Mine.

  • The seawater desalination plant is the largest of its kind in Southern Africa.
  • It was designed, constructed, operated and maintained by Aveng Water and is capable of delivering 20million m3/year.
  • The intake system draws seawater from the ocean, 1km offshore and caters for a future potential water demand of 45million m3/year.
  • The treated seawater is pumped approximately 50km in an overland pipeline to the Trekkopjie mining site.
  • The Atlantic Ocean along the Namibian coastline is nutrient rich, containing plankton, other sea life and is subject to incidence of red tide.
  • The trend worldwide is to use advanced pre-treatment systems with difficult water, in order to lower the overall cost of the process and produce reliable performance.
  • In this case, Aveng Water uses Pentair ultrafiltration membranes to maximise the efficiency of the pre-treatment processes.
  • Eleven parallel ultrafiltration trains are installed, followed by nine parallel reverse osmosis trains.