Inaugural project to convert saltwater into fresh water


Friday, 15 April 2016

The launching of the Manus solar power saltwater desalination plant project and signing of the construction contract today is the first of its kind in Papua New Guinea.

Project manager Tom Anayabere said although it has been used since the late 1970s and 1989s, the idea of combining both solar power and reverse osmoses technology to produce fresh drinking water from pure saltwater is new in PNG and will run for the first time in Manus Province.

This project, for the five identified remote islands of Manus Province, is a pioneering project and will pave the way for similar projects to be implemented for other atoll islands affected by the effects of climate change, resulting in the rise of sea level and thereby affecting their source of drinking water.

He says in line with what is happening, the acting general secretary for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Cristelle Pratt, says the Pacific Environment Community Fund (PEC) is proud to support PNG and the communities of Manus Province by ensuring access to a sustainable and reliable water system supply. They hope this can be used during periods of drought and other extreme natural hazard events that result in a disaster or emergency.

Pratt says with the increasing incidence of climate change-related effects such as drought during El Nino events and salt water intrusion into water supplies, the project will assist in providing some relief and portable water needs to communities in the six selected islands of the outer Manus Island.

Pratt congratulates the Department of National Planning and Monitoring on the swift progress made in the inception and implementation of the project and encourages the selected Japanese contractor, Sojitz Corporation, to work closely with PNG Government to ensure the project is able to deliver its objectives and to deliver real outcomes on the ground.

Read story: Loop

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