Fouka Desalination Plant

By transforming sea water into safe drinking water, the Fouka Desalination Plant provides a valuable resource to half a million people in Algeria.

Located west of Algiers, the Fouka Desalination Plant uses a reverse osmosis process to make sea water potable. It was designed to operate 24 hours a day year round and produce 120,000 cubic metres of clean, safe potable water every day.

The Algerian Government awarded SNC-Lavalin and Acciona Agua (the technology partner) contracts to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the Fouka Desalination Plant. SNC-Lavalin also provided material and equipment procurement services, commissioning and training for operations personnel. The operations and maintenance portion of the contract began in 2009 and will continue through to 2034.

Forward-thinking design

The plant design includes a number of features aimed at boosting water quality, system reliability and overall sustainability. The facility uses the latest energy recovery technology in the membrane feed pumping process to reduce electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Electrical power is fed from two separate substations to decrease the likelihood of a power outage and the frequency of potable water production interruptions. Finally, to reduce reliance on chemical additives, a 900-metre long intake pipe draws water from deep in the Mediterranean Sea, where the water quality is consistent and excellent.

A sustainable choice

The Fouka Desalination Plant not only provides water security for a city that previously experienced chronic shortages of potable water, it has also created employment and skill-development opportunities for the local workforce. Most of the construction workers hired for the project were Algerian nationals who were provided with on-the-job training, and the majority of non-specialized building materials were also sourced from within the country.