Investment firm Centum #ticker:ICDC has signed a Sh321.15 million ($3.2 million) deal with a Dubai water management solutions firm for a seawater desalination plant at its proposed multi-billion shilling housing project in Kilifi.
Metito (Overseas) Ltd has been handed a one-year contract to set up a plant that will freshen salty Indian Ocean water by removing saline minerals.
The firm, which besides water desalination also manufactures water and wastewater treatment systems, has been given up to September 2019 to complete the project.
The proposed facility, one of the biggest private undertakings in the region, will have a daily water production capacity of 3,000 cubic meters, the Nairobi Securities Exchange-traded investment firm said in a statement.
The project is part of infrastructural development at the 10,254-acre mixed-use Vipingo Development where Centum is targeting mid- to high-income homeowners and investors in manufacturing, warehousing, logistics and retail trade sectors.
“Our strategy at Vipingo is to master develop sites and provide commercial impetus for investors to establish new urban nodes,” Centum said in its annual report for the year to March 2018 published in August.
Despite being Kenya’s prime destination resort, the coastal region has endured a shortage of drinkable water for decades, with some households forced to use portable containers to desalinate seawater.
Kilifi County depends on Malindi-based Baricho Water Works in Kilifi for fresh water supply, which also supplements supply to Kenya’s largest resort city, Mombasa.
Mombasa has no fresh water source. Besides Baricho plant, the city relies on Mzima Springs in Taita Taveta, Tiwi boreholes and Marere Water Supply in Kwale County.
The government has since 2016 been planning to set large-scale desalination plants with a key focus on Mombasa and Lamu.
Mombasa County Assembly in October approved Governor Hassan Joho’s plan to construct two seawater desalination plants with a proposed daily capacity of 130,000 cubic meters of fresh water, contracts which have separately been awarded to a Spanish and Swiss firms.