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Boreal Light employees building a portable desalination plant SUR
German multinational offers portable desalination solutions to drought-stricken Costa del Sol
Drought crisis

German multinational offers portable desalination solutions to drought-stricken Costa del Sol

Boreal Light says that its plants can produce up to 2,400 cubic metres of water per day and can be made available within a month. But the company claims there is little or no interest from the town halls it has approached in the worst-affected areas

Eugenio Cabezas

Malaga

Wednesday, 28 February 2024, 18:27

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Despite the rainfall in recent weeks, the extreme drought continues to plague Malaga province, with reservoirs at historic lows for this time of year at below 16 per cent of their capacity. In this context, portable desalination plants have become a possibility being considered by the authorities along the Costa del Sol and Estepona is looking to have one installed in the coming months.

Spanish firms including SETA PHT have offered their product to town halls located on the coast and they have now been joined by German multinational Boreal Light. The firm claims that its designs can be installed within a month and are more efficient, as they use solar energy.

Boreal Light's sales representative in Malaga, Rene von Reth, who is originally from Germany, but lives in the Axarquía, said that the equipment in their catalogue can produce up to 2,400 cubic metres of desalinated water per day, which is suitable for consumption.

Units in Africa, America and Asia

The cost of each of the units is around 900,000 euros, although this price would be reduced if plants were bought in bulk. Von Reth estimates that around 80 portable desalination plants could be installed along the Malaga coastline at a cost of around 75 million euros. "We could have them all working, with their solar energy equipment, within a maximum period of 18 months," he explained.

The company, which goes by the name of Winture and whose headquarters are in Berlin, has two decades of experience and more than 250 units installed in twenty countries in Africa, America and Asia.

"It is a robust open-air water desalination system developed by us, capable of producing drinking and irrigation water directly from seawater with high saline and silt content, using 100 per cent solar energy. It is designed to operate in the harshest climatic conditions in the most remote parts of the world," explained von Reth.

According to von Reth, Winture's solutions provide between 1,000 and 30,000 litres of drinking water per hour. In the process, 99 per cent of the total dissolved solids are removed and drinking water free of organic and inorganic contaminants, bacteria and viruses is delivered," explained the German businessman.

No interest

He said that he is trying to meet with politicians in towns along the Costa del Sol most affected by the drought, including those in the Axarquía. "For the moment I have not been able to arrange any meetings and it is a shame, because it seems that there is no interest," he said.

Von Reth has had a meeting with the Junta de Andalucía’s representative for agriculture, Fernando Fernández, who showed "great interest" in the equipment and urged him to contact the town halls directly because they are responsible for providing the supply service to the population.

"I hope that the councils that have restrictions and difficulties in providing water for the population will study our solutions and equipment, which use solar energy and are very efficient, using reverse osmosis technology," he added.

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