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08.10.2006

Befesa is awarded the Bajo Almanzora desalination plant

Through the public company Acuamed, the Ministry for the Environment has awarded the joint venture formed by Befesa Construcción y Tecnología Ambiental, FCC Construcción y Servicios, Procesos Ambientales (SPA) and Aqualia Gestión Integral del Agua, the construction, operation and maintenance for 15 years of the Bajo Almanzora (Almería) desalination plant for the amount of 73 million Euros.

This award was made within the AGUA programme that is being carried out by the Ministry for the Environment in order to progressively resolve the deficiencies in water management, availability and quality that are present throughout Spain, in particular in the Mediterranean basins, by means of long-lasting, responsible solutions.

This desalination plant, which will have a maximum annual capacity of 20 cubic hectometres, will allow, together with another 15 cubic hectometres form the Carboneras desalination plant, constructed by Befesa in 2001, coverage of the requirements for the area's irrigation and supply demands, which are estimated at 34 cubic hectometres.

This plant, which is going to be constructed in the municipality of Cuevas de Almanzora, on the left bank of the river Almanzora, will have a construction period of 17 months. It will produce 60,000 cubic metres of water per day, of which 75 per cent will be employed for irrigation purposes, with the remaining 25 percent intended for human consumption. A total of 15 towns will benefit from these works, which will reach some 15 percent of the population of the Province of Almería, together with an area of over 12,031 hectares of agricultural production.

The desalination plant will employ the reverse osmosis process and will enjoy the very best and most efficient technology currently available for energy recovery, isobaric chambers.

The return of brine produced in this process to the sea will take place 1,900 metres from the coast and at a depth of 25 metres and at 1,700 metres from the posidonia meadows, via a submarine pipeline, with a diffuser section consisting of multiple nozzles, in order to guarantee protection of the marine flora and fauna.