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‘providing turnkey solutions to seasonal water shortages’


Providence, West Coast, Praslin & La Digue Desalination

Projects, Seychelles

Key features:


  • Turnkey construction of a multi-site sea water reverse osmosis solution
  • 8.4 MLD combined project capacity
  • Biwater project structured finance
  • Four seawater reverse osmosis treatment works
  • Staff training
  • Operation and maintenance



RO Stack 1 & 2 – Providence
Biwater companies in the UK, South Africa and Malaysia combined their expertise in a US$29 million project to alleviate seasonal water shortages in the Seychelles.

The contract was for the design, construction, commissioning and management of operations of four seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants on the main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue with a capacity of 8.4 MLD, and with provision for future expansion to 12.75 MLD.

Biwater Ltd. (formerly Pty.) was the main contractor and project manager and responsible for mechanical engineering. Biwater Treatment of the UK designed the reverse osmosis system and completed the process and electrical design.

Finance was arranged on a 50/50 basis between South Africa and Malaysia, being sourced from Nedbank South Africa, covered by ECIC, and Bumaputra Commerce Bank Malaysia, covered by MECIB. This resulted in the procurement being divided equally between Biwater Pty and Biwater Malaysia.

Water supply is the principal environmental concern in the Seychelles. The Seychelles has plentiful rainfall from November to April but inadequate catchment areas which results in dangerously low reservoirs by the end of the dry season. The problem has intensified because of the rapid growth of the tourist industry, which now plays an important part of the economy of the Seychelles.

The contract period of just 14 months was set in order that the desalination plants were in operation during the last months of the dry season.
  Reverse osmosis was selected as the most practical desalination method because power intensive thermal systems would make excessive demands on the islands power generation resources.

Desalination was seen as a more cost effective solution compared to building a dam and new reservoir.

Services Included:
  • Technology transfer in all disciplines to PUC.
  • Sampling and analysing the plant's influent and effluent.
  • Monitoring meter flows.
  • Preventative, planned or emergency maintenance of all the fixed and moveable plant machinery. This includes maintenance of equipment and vehicles, and recording all service fault details.
  • Reduction in operating costs, power, chemicals, spares consumption where prudent.
  • Staff training.
  • Development and upkeep of operational and maintenance procedures and maintenance of the management system.
  • Development and upkeep of good working practices.
  • On-site laboratory analysis.
  • Compliance (where appropriate) with applicable regulations



Inlet Piping to Membranes - West Coast




Location: Mahe, Seychelles Plant Capacity: Providence - 5 MLD
Praslin - 0.6 MLD
La Digue - 0.3 MLD
West Coast - 2.5 MLD
Client: Public Utilities Corporation Scope of Works: Turnkey design supply, construction
and operation of four seawater reverse
osmosis desalination plants.
Project Duration: Providence - 14 months
Praslin - 17 Months
La Digue - 19 months
West Coast - 24 Months
Work Types: - Reverse osmosis
- Desalination
Completion Date: Providence - November 2002
Praslin - April 2003
La Digue - April 2003
West Coast - August 2003
Participation: 100 %