Sidi Abdelhamid Desalination Plant In Tunisia To Be Operational Soon

The plant in the city of Sousse to start supplying water by mid-2023.

By Chriselle Moraes on
4th November 2022

Engineering Procurement and Project Management (EPPM), a Tunisian company, plans to commission the Sidi Abdelhamid desalination plant by the summer of 2023.

Project Director, Moncef Amara, stated that the plant, which will be in the port city of Sousse, would be commissioned in two phases. The first phase would see the plant with a water production rate of 50,000 m3 per day. That will increase to 100,000 m3 of drinking water per day by the end of the second phase.

The project was launched in 2018 to desalinate seawater from the cooling water canal of the Sidi Abdelhamid power station in Sousse, owned by the Tunisian Company of Oil and Gas (STEG). The water will be subject to pre-treatment with two filter stages and two reverse osmosis units, each of which can produce 25,000 m3 of water per day. The project has funding of €40.35 million (US$39.1 million), and works on the project are currently reported to be 60% complete.

Proposed reverse osmosis installation at the Sidi Abdelhamid desalination plant (
Proposed reverse osmosis installation at the Sidi Abdelhamid desalination plant ( 

Spanish engineering consulting company Savener prepared various engineering packages for Design and Electricity. Another Spanish company Abengoa carried out the plant’s design, construction, and operation in a joint venture with EPPM and with the help of Savener.

Savener's electrical department provided the basic design of the low and high-voltage installations, purchasing management, and a thorough review of the engineering of the low and high-voltage electrical equipment, such as 11 kilovolts (kV) transformers, 30 and 11 kV cabinets, CCM, LVS, Switchboards, Frequency Variators and UPS. They also conducted electricity studies, such as short circuits, current flow, selectivity, and factor correction for power and lighting.

The project is a major step in a series of actions by the Tunisian government to use non-conventional water sources to meet water needs to improve water availability and reduce water scarcity problems. It will also help meet the water demand in the main tourist destinations.

The project will provide drinking water to 2.3 million people in Sousse as part of the programme to supply drinking water resources to Cap Bon, the Tunisian Sahel, and Sfax. These regions account for 55% of the country's population and constantly face drought, which leads to water stress in the region. The French Development Agency (AFD) supports the programme.

It aims to improve water supply by 2030 through the “transfer of an additional 100 million m3 of water per year from the north to Cap-Bon, the Tunisian Sahel, and Sfax”. The transfer will further reduce the strain on the Kairouanais and Sidi Bouzid groundwater.

Photo: Desalination plant unit - Stock Image (Anthony Villalon | Dreamstime)

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