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English Release 1-September 2014
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Previous Date

 
Ministry of Science & Technology23-May, 2005 11:14 IST
World’s first ever low temperature thermal desalination plant opened at Kavaratti

GOVERNMENT WILL SET UP 10 MILLION LITRE PER DAY DESALINATION PLANTS IN ALL ISLANDS AND COASTAL AREAS - KAPIL SIBAL
The world’s first ever low temperature thermal desalination plant was opened by the Minister for Power, Shri P. M. Sayeed and the Minister for Science & Technology and Ocean Development, Shri. Kapil Sibal at a largely attended public function in the emerald island of Kavaratti this evening. The plant built at a cost of about 5 crore rupees will produce one lakh litre of potable water from sea water.

The Plant uses “Low Temperature Thermal Desalination” technology. In this method relatively warm water is flashed inside a vacuum flash chamber and the resultant vapour is condensed using cold water.

The temperature difference which exists between the warm surface sea water (28 to 30 degrees Celsius) and deep sea cold water (7 to15 degrees Celsius) would be effectively utilized to produce potable water apart from power generation, air conditioning and aquaculture.

This technology has been utilized in the first ever low temperature thermal desalination plant which has been commissioned at Kavaratti. The plant is housed in a structure on the shore. The bathymetry at the island is such that 13 degrees Celsius water is available at a depth of 350m at a distance around 400m from the shore. The cold water is brought to the surface through a 600m long pipe. The technology was first demonstrated in a pilot project of 5000 liter/day at Chennai and is now being used for the first 100,000 liter/day plant at Kavaratti. The cost of desalination would be around 25 paise per litre and will progressively cost less as the capacity is increased.

Though the concept was known for a long time, due to practical difficulties it was never attempted. This approach of providing water is extremely useful for islands like Kavaratti where there is no other source of fresh water and the environment is extremely fragile

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Power, Shri. P. M. Sayeed said that it was a gift of the scientific community to the people of Lakshadweep. Describing the project as a 90- day miracle, he said that the it is another example of the UPA Government’s approach to solve the problems of common man.

Presiding over the function, Shri. Sibal announced that the government will now go for setting up of 10 million litre/ per day capacity desalination plants in all islands and coastal areas to redress the acute problem of drinking water. He said that the technology used will help in two ways- one, it is cost effective and the cost of production of one litre of water will be reduced to 3-6 paise from the existing 22-25 paise. More over, as the water is drawn from a depth of about 350 metres down the sea level, a number of nutrients will be drawn and when this water is released after its use, it will lead to greater catch of fish for the fishermen community. He complimented the scientists of National Institute of Ocean Technology and the Department of Ocean Development for this breakthrough in technology .

SK/MG/SK
(Release ID :9439)

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