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UraMin proposes new idea on Namibian desalination plant

15 may 2009

Uranium producer UraMin-Areva Resources Namibia has proposed that the Namibian government expand a desalination plant currently being built by the company instead of building a second one, The Namibian reports.
The mining company, a subsidiary of the French energy giant Areva, recently submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Agriculture, proposing that “the Ministry weigh the potential advantages of co-operation in the current plant before proceeding with the second one”. 
“Not only is the current plant near completion, but its expansion will cost a fraction of building a new one,” UraMin-Areva Resources Namibia was quoted as saying. 
The Ministry had shown intention to build a second desalination plant at Mile 6 for about NAD2 billion. 
Work on the current desalination plant – a USD230 million joint venture between UraMin and NamWater situated at Wlotzkasbaken, 30 km north of Swakopmund, and the first of its kind in Namibia is expected to be commissioned by the end of this year. 
However Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Andrew Ndishishi, who is chairing a Government-appointed task team on the construction of the plant, brushed off UraMin’s proposal. 
“At the moment we are finalising the terms of reference for the construction of the new plant, and once these terms of reference are completed, people will be invited to tender for the project,” Ndishishi was quoted as saying. 

Veronica Novoselova, Rough&Polished African bureau editor in Namibia