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Seawater desalination plant in Baja will produce 5.8 mil gal drinking water daily

The State Water Commission of Baja California, Mexico, has officially awarded the consortium of RWL Water, a global water solutions provider, and its Mexican partners Libra Ingenieros and R.J. Ingenieria, a project to build, finance, operate, and transfer (BOT) a seawater desalination plant in the city of San Quintín.

The project is located in Baja California, approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the U.S./Mexico border. The project will consist of the construction of a 22,000-cubic-meter-per-day (approximately 5.8-million-gallon-per-day) seawater desalination plant and the operation of the facility for 30 years.

The purpose of the project is to increase access to sustainable drinking water service through the development of an additional water supply source, contributing to the preservation of groundwater resources and covering actual water demand for approximately 100,000 residents of Baja California. This project will also give momentum for the economic development of the region, which has been hampered by the lack of affordable water in the past.

SIDUE, the Secretariat of Infrastructure and Urban Development for the State of Baja California, and CEA, the State Water Commission of Baja California, issued the invitation to tender for the project on June 26, 2015. The public tender was the result of an unsolicited proposal prepared and submitted by Libra Ingenieros and R.J. Ingenieria under the new PPP (public-private partnership) Law.

This is the first project of this kind that has been based on the new PPP law of the State of Baja California. CEA, the “offtaker” of the water, will enter into a back-to-back agreement with CESPE, the State Commission of Public services of Ensenada. The consortium will finance the project with a mix of equity investment and limited recourse project finance. The desalination plant will be built by RWL Water based on its own technology, know-how and project management capabilities.

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