Transnet has given approval for further studies to be conducted into a Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) plant at the Port of Cape Town.
Reverse osmosis is the process of converting seawater into drinking water.
The proposed location for the plant is Quay 700, and it is expected to provide between one million to three million litres of water per day.
Cape Town acting port manager, captain Alex Miya, said the next steps would be to appoint consultants to conduct studies that could be concluded by September 2019. If the SWRO plant is found to be a viable option, it could be introduced by the end of 2020, he said.
Miya said the port will continue to coordinate its approach with the City of Cape Town’s initiatives to supply additional water.
“The port is confident that the municipality will ensure a water resilient region through a mix of water sources,” he said.
“In the meantime, we have considered a few options to ensure economic sustainability. One of these options is a Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) plant for port use.
“This is currently being explored in conjunction with various regulatory authorities and has received support from Transnet to proceed with further studies,” Miya said.
Cape Town remains a water scarce region and has just emerged from the worst drought since 1904.
The good rainfall in 2018 and the substantial reduction in usage has allowed for municipal restrictions to be reduced from level 6 to level 3 in 2019.
While this is positive, the region’s dependence on dam water could result in similar shortfalls in future, the city ha warned.