Befesa - Presse

News

06.08.2005

The Minister for the Environment, Cristina Narbona, inaugurates the San Pedro del Pinatar I desalination plant

On May the Minister for the Environment, Cristina Narbona, brought the San Pedro del Pinatar (also known as the Cartagena Canal) desalination plant, in Murcia, into operation. The water produced by this desalination plant is the first under the WATER Program for urban supply in this southeastern region of Spain, a priority area under the Ministry of the Environment’s water resource planning program.

With the start-up of San Pedro del Pinatar, the residents of the Pool of Towns and Villages of the Taibilla Canals’ area will be able to avail of a cubic hectometer per month from the facility, which will contribute to improving the water supply and prevent restrictions having to be imposed on drinking water in the area this summer. This volume will be increased to two cubic hectometers per month before year-end when the works on the submarine discharge outlet that is also being constructed have been completed.

The Pool, under the Ministry of the Environment, is responsible for the primary network (high) supply of drinking water to 77 municipalities of Murcia, Alicante and Albacete, with a stable population of more than 2,100,000, which increases to almost three million in the summer season.

The San Pedro del Pinatar desalination plant is on a 29,000 square meter plot in El Mojón, close to the protected area of Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar Regional Park. The plant’s daily capacity of 65,000 cubic meters will contribute 24 cubic hectometers per year of new resources to the Pool’s hydraulic system. The water will be delivered to the new Cartagena Canal, upstream from the supply off-take of the northern area of Mar Menor through a regulating reservoir.

The start-up of this desalination plant fulfills one of the WATER Program objectives by increasing, in the shortest time possible, the water resources in the areas where the water demand is not met. The extraordinary drought the area is suffering since 1999 has clearly demonstrated the incapacity of the Pool’s current hydraulic resources to meet the demand. For this reason, at the time, the Ministry of the Environment awarded the Befesa Construcción y Tecnología Ambiental – Pridesa joint venture, the 15-year construction and operation concession for the New Cartagena Canal Seawater Desalination Plant.

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by the Government’s Representative in the Area, Antonio Leon, the President of the Segura Hydrographic Confederation, Jose Salvador Fuentes, the Councilor for Agriculture and Water of the Autonomous Region of Murcia, Antonio Cerda, and other authorities. Befesa was represented by Guillermo Bravo, José Marañón, and Pedro Rodriguez.