Cyclone Nisha delays Minjur plant

The much-awaited seawater desalination plant, the largest in the country with a capacity of 100 MLD (million litres per day), coming up near Minjur about 35 km north of Chennai, has run literally into rough weather, after cyclone Nisha battered coastal Tamil Nadu in November last year.

The damage caused by the cyclone has delayed the project implementation. Besides damaging a portion of marine works that have been completed, the cyclone has also left behind a mound of metal debris underwater, where huge pipelines are to be laid out to draw water from the sea.

M/s Chennai Water Desalination Limited (CWDL), a special purpose vehicle launched to execute the project on DBOOT (design, build, own, operate and transfer) basis, has been forced to engage a Dutch company, Van Oord, a major player in dredging works, to remove the mangled remains of huge iron sheets put up in the site as a temporary structure.

“A team from Van Oord will deploy dredging equipment and begin the process of removing the debris thereafter. The team will stay on until the laying of pipelines, which run up to a length of 600 m, is over,” sources told The Times of India.