By Peter Stevenson
CYPRUS’ fifth desalination plant, with a capacity to produce up to 40,000 cubic metres of desalinated potable water daily, was inaugurated on Wednesday by President Nicos Anastasiades in Limassol.
Present at the inauguration ceremony were Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis and the Israeli Minister of Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom.
“The existing old desalination plants have been already upgraded while new plants have been constructed, leading to the increase of the total capacity of all our plants to approximately 220,000 cubic metres of water per day,” Kouyialis said.
The agriculture minister added that these quantities are now sufficient to cover the island’s needs with regards to good quality potable water, in accordance with the requirements of the relevant EU Directive.
“The natural water resources are insufficient to cover the increasing water needs, thus, gradually we have adopted the policy of using non-conventional water resources to ensure independence from weather conditions and consequently adequate quantities of water for our country,” he said.
This policy together with the development of new, less energy-consuming methods of desalination, has led to the decision to proceed with the construction of more desalination plants in order to cover the increasing needs, Kouyialis added.
Anastasiades said that securing Cyprus’ water supply is an integral component of the country’s infrastructure.
“It does not only significantly upgrade the living standards of the citizens of Cyprus, but also contributes to the further development of our agricultural and tourist industry,” he said.
The President thanked the British Bases, the Water Development Department, M. N. Limassol Consortium, The Israeli companies Mekorot Development and Enterprise Ltd and Mekorot Israel National Water Company, as well as local companies Logicom Public Ltd and Demetra Investment Public Ltd for their contribution to the building of the desalination plant.
The new plant, located in Episkopi village, on the southern coast, is expected to meet the needs of the wider area of Limassol for 20 years.
Construction work for the plant began in 2009 and was completed in the beginning of this year.