To meet potable water demand, three major ports – Paradip, Ennore and Chidambarnar – will install plants to recycle and desalinate sea water, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday. The decision in this regard was taken in a meeting with chairpersons of major ports. “Paradip Port, Kamarajar Port & VO Chidambarnar Port under the Ministry of Shipping are all set to pioneer water recycling and desalination of sea water in the port premises,” the Shipping, Road Transport & Highways Minister said.
The minister has convened a meeting of port chairmen to discuss desalination technologies and their application at major ports, and directed that desalination plants should be installed with immediate effect, Ministry of Shipping said in a statement. While addressing the meeting, Gadkari said the desalination plant should be used for meeting the potable water needs of ports as well as the neighbouring community.
He also said that efforts should be made to extract methane, carbon dioxide and bio-CNG from water. He has also directed port chairmen to explore feasibility about using treated sewage water for cleaning rail coaches at different railway stations, and nearby power plants.
The initiative would benefit areas near the ports like Thoothukudi near Tuticorin, where a 13 million litre per day plant will be able to serve 20 per cent of Tuticorin city’s requirement after port utilisation. It will also help serve the water needs of the entire Chennai Port and 1 per cent of the city’s requirement at lower costs, the statement said.
This initiative is in line with the ministry’s agenda to promote water conservation and reuse of water. During the meeting, the idea was mooted for use of new technology based containerised RO (Reverse Osmosis) based plants which can reduce the cost of producing desalinated water and would be cheaper than current water procurement cost at certain ports, it said.
Gadkari also suggested that cheaper power sourcing options like renewable energy through windmills and solar farms should be explored as this will help bring down the cost of producing desalinated water by about 20 per cent.
Desalination benefit may vary from port to port depending on municipal water purchase price and energy tariffs, the statement said.