PSG-backed Cape company unveils water solution product

Ian Carbutt

Cape Town - GrahamTek, a global desalination and water purification company based near Cape Town, on Tuesday unveiled a locally designed and assembled modular sea water desalination plant for deployment in Saudi Arabia.

Each of the modular plants has the capacity to produce 3 million litres of potable water from sea water per day  and can be upscaled to virtually any size.  

The PSG Group put its weight behind GrahamTek by acquiring a controlling interest in the company via Energy Partners, a supplier of sustainable energy solutions in South Africa and Africa and part of the PSG Group.

GrahamTek CEO Julius Steyn said the company contracted to do consultation and optimisation work on the four largest desalination plants globally earlier this year.

These Saudi Arabian plants produce more than 4 000 million litres of water per day. The GrahamTek engineers identified opportunities to reduce the cost of water production by more than 20% and improve the reliability of the plants in the process.

Cape Town water crisis

About the water situation in Cape Town, Steyn said GrahamTek’s technology is ideally suited to the South African environment.

“The experience gained in Saudi Arabia will be very valuable to the rapid deployment that will be required to solve the Cape Town crisis in a timely manner," said Steyn.

“Cape Town has amidst a major water crisis the opportunity to not only provide long-term water security for the region, but also to develop a sustainable water economy with global reach,” he added.

The capital cost of sea water desalination plants is substantial. However, if financed over the useful life of the plant - typically 20 years - water can be procured by the city at R12 to R18 per kilolitre, comparable to what users pay on average in the city, he explained.  
 
“Desalination is a lot more affordable than most people would think. We’ve worked hard to present our desalination technology within the global benchmark for water tariffs. Without this ability GrahamTek would not have received water contracts from Saudi Arabia,” Steyn said.

Energy Partners has submitted several tenders in the City's recent tender rounds.

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