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Mumbai: BMC floats tenders for Rs 3,520 crore desalination plant project

Updated on: 05 December,2023 08:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

E-tenders invited after many delays and cost escalation to build plant with an initial capacity to produce 200 MLD water; submissions will remain open till January 4, 2024

Mumbai: BMC floats tenders for Rs 3,520 crore desalination plant project

Project was ideated by former CM Uddhav Thackeray. Representation pic

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Mumbai: BMC floats tenders for Rs 3,520 crore desalination plant project

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) floated tenders on Monday to set up a desalination plant at Manori with a capacity of producing 200 million litres of potable water from salt water per day. The estimated cost of the project is R3,520 crore, including operation and maintenance costs for 20 years.

The project is expected to be ready in four years. The 200 MLD (million litres per day) water generated initially through the plant will be supplied to Kandivli and Borivli nearby.

The BMC invited e-tenders on December 4 and submissions will be accepted until 4 pm on January 4, 2024. On October 28, mid-day reported that after much delay, the BMC was in the last stages of inviting tenders for the ambitious project to get potable water from the sea. The idea was initiated by former chief minister, Uddhav Thackeray, and the project was put on the fast track.

Initial project evaluation

The BMC had appointed IDE Water Technologies Ltd., an Israeli company, in February 2021 to prepare a detailed proposal. Later, in January 2022, the civic body engaged M/s SMEC India to evaluate the study and designs prepared by the Israeli firm. The BMC had set aside Rs 200 crore for the project in its budget for 2022-23 with the bids supposed to be initiated by August 2022 via a global tendering system. The report, which was supposed to be ready by June 2022, was submitted in the third week of November 2022. 

Then BMC took its own time to evaluate the report and issue a tender notice. Finally, after a year, the corporation floated the same.  

The desalination project at Manori was initially favoured over the proposed Gargai dam, thereby preventing the axing of four lakh trees in the Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary. The project, however, did not take off and the BMC once again allocated Rs 200 crore in its 2023-24 budget but did not set a deadline.

Currently, the city receives 3,850 MLD water from seven lakes. The desalination project’s 200 MLD capacity can be later expanded to 400 MLD. Apart from construction, it would incur heavy expenses for electricity, maintenance and asset replacement for the next 20 years.

A civic official told mid-day, “As per initial estimates, the total cost of the 200 MLD desalination plant would be Rs 1,600 crore for construction. Factoring in the operation and maintenance cost of Rs 1,920 crore for 20 years, the total would come up to Rs 3,520 crore. The project cost includes the construction of inbound and outbound channels (sea works) suitable for a 400 MLD plant to take water from the sea. It is estimated that over 20 years, the project would cost Rs 8,500 crore, including electricity consumption.”

The official added that since the project would have infrastructure for a 400 MLD capacity plant, the cost of expansion would be reduced. The 200 MLD water from the plant will be transferred to the Mahavir Nagar pumping station and supplied to nearby areas.

Project’s cost components

Rs 1,600cr

Rs 1,920cr
Operation and maintenance for 20 years

Rs 8,500cr
Cost including electricity consumption

Rs 42.50
Cost per litre of water 
(200 MLD capacity)

Rs 32.20
Cost per litre of water 
(400 MLD capacity)

Rs 30
Cost per litre of water using traditional sources

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