By Mohamed Husain.
Tobruk, 26 May 2015:
Tobruk’s desalination station is badly in need of maintenance and upgrades, according to its director, Fathallah Salem Al-Nass. . . .[restrict] He has petitioned House of Representatives and the government for funds to begin urgent repairs, saying that the station could stop functioning at any time.
According to Al-Nass, the station has not been properly maintained for ten years. Much of the equipment and piping is rusted, corroded or otherwise damaged.
Repairs could allow the the station to serve the community for another ten years, said Al-Nass, asking for an initial LD 20 million at present, representing 15 percent of the overall work needed to be done.
Whether the funding will be made available is another matter. In January, the cash-strapped government approved LD 6.5 million to be spent on urgent maintenance work for three water desalination plants – at Sousa, Tobruk and Butraba (on the coast north of Marj). However, only LD 1.3 million was made available because of the lack of funds.
Three months ago, in a bid to try and resolve the town’s water shortages which have caused demonstrations in the town, Tobruk Municipal Council invited a team from the Gulf Cooperation Council to discuss possible investment in drilling water wells.
As part of the meeting the growing water needs of Torbuk and the surrounding area, it is also planned to add another evaporator to the three existing ones at the plant, Al-Nass said. He also spoke about reviving plans for another desalination plant with a daily capacity of 40 million litres. A contract to build and run the plant for three year was signed by the former regime with Singapore’s Hyflux in November 2010, just three months before the revolution started. The deal is currently in abeyance.