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Gov’t reviewing viability of Teshie Desalination plant

A committee has been constituted to review the Teshie Desalination plant project, which is said to be costing the Ghana Water Company Limited GHc 6 million a month.

Speaking to Citi News, the Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Michael Gyato, said it was clear in the government’s mind that “you can’t produce water and sell at a loss.”

The Ghana Water Company buys water at about GHc 6.5 per cubic metre, but sells at the regulated rate of about GHc 1.5 per cubic meter.

The Ghana Water Company makes payments of GHc 8 million a month to the financiers of the project, although it makes only GHc 2 million by supplying treated water from the plant.

Mr. Gyato noted that “they [Ghana Water Company] distribute the water, but the cost of the production and revenue they get doesn’t match. So if it is a PPP [Private Public Partnership] agreement or whatever, it doesn’t wash, and that is why we are saying that the whole country should look at it and see whether it is feasible.”

In view of the concerns that have been raised, the Minister noted that, a committee has already been constituted in this regard, and it will come out wit recommendations “pretty soon.”

“We have asked our team to look at it and give us recommendations. We are just waiting for them to bring their recommendations and we’ll bring it before cabinet and then the Cabinet will take a decision,” he said.

In April 2015, the $126 million plant was commissioned to process sea water into potable water for consumers in Teshie Nungua and surrounding areas.

It is estimated that it serves 500,000 people with an estimated 13 million gallons or 60,000 cubic meters of water per day.

In 2011, the Government awarded a contract to Befesa Desalination Development Ghana for the establishment of the treatment plant to produce clean water.

This public-private partnership arrangement will see a company, Abengoa, operate the plant for 25 years, and then transfer its management to GWCL.

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