SENEGAL: before his departure, Macky Sall signs a PPP for desalination in Dakar

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SENEGAL: before his departure, Macky Sall signs a PPP for desalination in Dakar©Acwa Power

With all eyes on Senegal, where the inauguration ceremony of the new President of the Republic Bassirou Diomaye Faye will take place on 2 April 2024, AFRIK 21 looks back at the final moments of his predecessor Macky Sall, marked in particular by the signing on 29 March 2024 of a public-private partnership (PPP) with Acwa Power for a seawater desalination plant in the Senegalese capital Dakar.

The deal is now official. Saudi company Acwa Power, which specialises in power generation and water desalination, will build the second Senegal seawater desalination plant on the Grande Côte, some 40 km north-east of Dakar. On 29 March 2024, Macky Sall, who was an unsuccessful candidate in Senegal’s recent presidential election, signed an $800 million contract with the company to start work. This is the last contract signed by the man who spent twelve years in power, and who will hand over the reins of Senegal to Bassirou Diomaye Faye on 2 April 2024.

Under the terms of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Acwa Power will carry out the work on the seawater desalination plant in two phases, each producing 200,000 m3 of water per day, giving a total capacity of 400,000 m3 of water per day. This PPP was announced in September 2022 by the Senegalese government.

Operation of the first phase scheduled for 2028

Completion of this project will enable the West African country to achieve universal drinking water coverage, where the figures are already very favourable compared with other African countries. By 2021, the rate of access to drinking water in Senegal will already be 98.8% in urban areas and 91% in rural areas, according to the Senegalese Ministry of Water and Sanitation.

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In addition to the design, financing and construction, Acwa Power will operate the new plant, which will use the reverse osmosis process, from the first quarter of 2028. The drinking water from the plant will be sold to Société nationale des eaux du Sénégal (SONES) for 32 years, under a water purchase agreement. SONES, which is responsible for managing urban water assets, controlling the quality of operations and raising public awareness in Senegal, is developing the water project.

Inès Magoum

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