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News Article

Acciona To Build, Operate Desalination Plant in Mexico

By Rodrigo Brugada | Fri, 05/21/2021 - 18:57

Acciona Agua and La Peninsular Compañia Constructora will build a new desalination plant in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur. The two companies’ bid beat four others. As part of transparency measures, regional authorities are verifying the relevant paperwork and have since delayed signing the contract, which was to be signed on May 17. The contract includes the design, preparation, financing, construction, testing and operation of the plant, as well as conservation and maintenance. The contract stipulates an operation period of 25 years through a public-private partnership scheme. Acciona will invest €134.5 million (US$163.8 million) in public-private plans and manage the project. The plant will be developed jointly by the two companies and will have an estimated construction time of 24 months. 


The region has historically suffered from water shortages and this plant will play a key role in ensuring supply. The desalination plant is projected to benefit 464,000 inhabitants and to be capable of producing 250L of drinking water per second, which corresponds to 7.88 million cubic meters per year. 


Acciona is a leading partner for Mexico’s infrastructure and energy operations. The firm has been operating in Mexico since 1978 and is now executing several projects to provide solutions for a low-carbon economy through resilient infrastructure, clean energy and real estate developments. It is also participating in the construction of the Mayan Train and is in charge of the section running between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Acciona is also a key player in Mexico’s renewable energy sector, providing 1,300MW of wind and photovoltaic energy through its operations, like its wind farm in Tamaulipas


Regarding hydric resources, the firm is a leader in the water treatment sector and has experience in the design, construction and operation of drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment, tertiary treatment for reuse and reverse osmosis desalination plants. In Mexico, Acciona provides clean energy and water and sanitation solutions to more than 36,000 people in more than 600 rural and indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Nuevo Leon.


The new plant will use reverse osmosis technology, which works by first treating the water to eliminate impurities and then applying pressure through a semi-permeable membrane to get only freshwater while getting rid of the salt content. This is the same technology used in Acciona’s plant in Dubai, instead of conventional thermal desalting technology, and is more efficient, less energy-intensive and has a lower carbon footprint than conventional thermal desalination methods. Reverse osmosis desalination emits 6.5 times less greenhouse gases than traditional desalination procedures.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Acciona, El Sudcaliforniano, El Independiente, MBN, Active Sustainability
Rodrigo Brugada Rodrigo Brugada Journalist & Industry Analyst