The IGPPP (Instance Générale des Partenariats Public-Privé), the PPP Unit, is intending to launch two pilot PPP projects, that are currently at the feasibility study stage. The first project is a desalination plant in Gabès. The second project is a wastewater treatment plant in Tunis.
The Gabès desalination will produce of 50 000 cubic meters per day of desalinated water by means of a reverse osmosis plant. The desalinated water will be used by the Groupe Chimique Tunisien, the State-owned company that’s extracting, transforming and exporting Phosphate.
The choice of seawater desalination for industrial water supply in this area is justified because of (i) lack of conventional water resources throughout southern Tunisia, (ii) high cost of water transfer of northern waters to this region in addition that even these waters are today barely covering the demand of drinking water and irrigation in the north of the country.
Tunisia's experience in desalination is quite rich insofar as it began with the desalination of brackish groundwater in 1983 through the implementation of the first desalination plant with a capacity of 3,300 cubic meters per day in the island of Kerkennah. The first seawater desalination plant was commissioned in 2018 in the island of Djerba.
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Project stage info
Stage 1: Initial Government Announcement
Instance Generale des Parenariats Public-Prive
Form of project announcement
GCT wishes to dispose of a desalinated water production capacity of 50 000 cubic meters per day. The desalinated water must be non-corrosive remineralized water.
The main justification for the project is the preservation of local resource that is currently used by the GCT. The substitution of osmosed water to natural aquifer water is set as a driving force.
The Gabès region, is fed by groundwater of two origins:
. The coastal aquifer of Djeffara: It is a relatively shallow aquifer that is 100 to 500m deep. This is the main aquifer in the governorate of Gabès. It is in contact with the Continental Intercalaire at the threshold of El Hamma, northwest. Flowing water contains 3 to 4 g/l of salts.
. The deep aquifer of the Continental Intercalaire, which extends over the entire South of Tunisia to Algeria has a depth from 1000 to 2000m. The water that springs from the springs and boreholes is hot (60 ° C and above), and it is slightly less salty than the water of the Djeffara aquifer. The salinity is 1.5 to 3.5 g/l. The sheet of the intercalary continental is practically not renewable, the renewal period is from 10,000 to 20,000 years.
Indicative timetable of project development
Preparation phase: 2019-2020
Construction phase: 2020-2023
Operation phase: 2023-2043
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Project looking for additional PPF assistance
Project looking for additional MDB assistance
Is project multi jurisdictional?
Stage 2: Project Investigation
79.6 M USD 227.5 M TND
Indicative Funding Source
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Is the project contained in national/sub national infrastructure plan or strategy
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Opportunity for Private Sector Involvement
Not yet known