Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, Drinking water, environnement, Gestion, Guinea, International, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Sénégal, Services de l’eau
VERGNET HYDRO and MASCARA RENEWABLE WATER to offer a solution for the production of drinking water from brackish water, for Sub-Saharan Africa
From pumping unsafe water to distributing drinking water at the tap
Pictures caption: Solar-based drinking water supply solution from brackish water implemented by VERGNET HYDRO, MASCARA RENEWABLE WATER and AFRIDEV MATI in Manhiça (Mozambique) in 2018 (photos credits: the top-right one, Titouan GAREL; the three others, VERGNET HYDRO).
VERGNET HYDRO and the French SME MASCARA RENEWABLE WATER (Chartres) have just signed an exclusive partnership agreement for the implementation of a drinking water supply solution from brackish water in Sub-Saharan Africa. “The objective of this partnership is to pool our skills, strengths and networks in order to offer a turnkey solution to governments, donors and NGOs: from pumping unsafe water to distributing drinking water at the tap,” explains Thierry BARBOTTE, Managing Director of VERGNET HYDRO.
The level of salinity of the collected groundwater, which does not meet the drinking water standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO), is a regular problem in rural water projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Salt water consumption causes dehydration and kidney disease. In addition, brackish water damages pumping equipment and pipes, which corrodes them, and causes metal particles to circulate in water systems, which on its turn may cause cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
OSMOSUN® complements VERGNET HYDRO’s 40 years of experience and innovation
MASCARA has developed an industrial technology for desalination of brackish water by solar energy, with very low operating costs, from 100 FCFA to 130 FCFA (€0.15 to €0.20) per m3, and electricity consumptions in the range of 1.2 to 1.5 kWh per m3. “MASCARA’s OSMOSUN® solar desalination units are based on reverse osmosis technology, and are all the more innovative, economical and ecological because they do not require a battery to store energy. We are indeed the first in the world to offer a solar-based solution,” says enthusiastically Marc VERGNET, President of MASCARA.
Within the framework of this partnership, this innovative technology is combined with VERGNET HYDRO’s 40 years of experience and innovation in rural hydraulics in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Our joint offer combines OSMOSUN® with VERGNET HYDRO’s energy production systems (solar fields and emergency generators), raw water pumping systems (exhauster columns, drill heads and manifolds) and storage and distribution systems (water towers, pipes, valves, etc.),” explains Etienne DECHERF, Chief Sales and Operations Officer of VERGNET HYDRO.
A first and fruitful collaboration in Mozambique
The signing of this contract is the result of a first and fruitful collaboration in Mozambique. In 2018, VERGNET HYDRO and MASCARA set up solar-powered drinking water supply systems with desalination in 6 villages (7,200 inhabitants) in the Gaza Province. The two French companies relied on the expertise of the Mozambican company AFRIDEV MATI (Maputo) to carry out the construction works and to manage the systems setup.
The VERGNET HYDRO/MASCARA offer will initially be launched in 8 Sub-Saharan African countries: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal. The contract also includes testing this overall offer in Asia, starting with Bangladesh.
Drinking water, environnement, Management, Mozambique, Quality, Water Supply Service, Water supply systems
An innovative drinking water service for 7,200 rural people
The Belgian Cooperation Agency ENABEL (formerly named Coopération Technique Belge, CTB) has accorded the construction of a solar-powered drinking water supply for 6 villages (7,200 inhabitants) in the Gaza Province in Mozambique to the joint-venture of VERGNET HYDRO (subsidiary of ODIAL SOLUTIONS group, Orléans, France) and AFRIDEV MATI MOZAMBIQUE LDA (Maputo, Mozambique). The 6 sites should be operational by July 2018. “And, we are very happy to rely on the skills of the young and innovative SME MASCARA RENEWABLE WATER (Chartres, France) in order to achieve a fundamental dimension of this project: water desalination”, says enthusiastically Thierry BARBOTTE, Managing Director of VERGNET HYDRO.
While these villages are located at more than 200 km of the coastline, the ground water is brackish and doesn’t meet the World Health Organization (WHO) drinking water standards. Salt water consumption causes dehydration and kidney diseases. The brine damages the pump equipment and the pipes, corrodes them, leads to the spread of metal particles, which can cause cancer, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
A solar-powered desalination process that doesn’t need any battery
The MASCARA solar-powered desalination process is all the more innovative, cost-efficient and ecological as it doesn’t need any battery for the power storage. The energy produced by the 6 solar fields directly powers its 6 desalination units based on the reverse osmosis technology: the OSMOSUN®. “It is our first project in Africa and our first project dealing with brackish water, and not sea water. This project is marking a turning point in the history of our young company”, claims Marc VERGNET, MASCARA Chairman.
The 6 solar fields (from 80m2 to 160m2) are going to power 6 OSMOSUN® and 6 electric water pumps appropriate for these salt waters. They are going to pipe the drinking water to the 6 water towers, which will provide the gravity-fed small piped water systems. The residual water will be rejected in infiltration basins. “For 100 liters of pumped brackish water, 80 liters of drinking water will be supplied to the villagers”, specifies Romain DUBREUIL, Business Development Manager of VERGNET HYDRO.
The total power of these 320 photovoltaic panels will be about 88 kWc. Each site will contain a container in which there will be one OSMOSUN®, one remote management system (using GSM and internet) and one electrical cabinet for the pump and the desalination unit. “These premises will host the monitoring equipment the unit, knowing that keeping up an OSMOSUN® only requires to change its filter every now and then and to replace its membrane every 10 years”, adds Thomas CANDELORO, Project Manager of VERGNET HYDRO.
A drinking water service managed by a private company
VERGNET HYDRO leads the project and provides the equipment, MASCARA will set up the desalination units and AFRIDEV MATI MOZAMBIQUE LDA carries out the local construction works, and is in charge of local management. Indeed, the Mozambican SME is going to manage a communitarian water service (equipment maintenance and water sales) for these 6 piped networks and 15 other small piped water systems in this Province. “Supervising and guaranteeing an ongoing water service in which everyone pays for one’s own consumption is a wonderful challenge for our company. Besides, we are going to double our staff from 15 to 30 employees in 2018”, explains Dario AMADE, Managing Director of AFRIDEV MATI MOZAMBIQUE LDA.
Today, these Mozambican villagers often walk kilometers in order to reach a manual pump. “These small piped water systems will provide them with clean water, near their homes and through taps”, concludes Laurent DELUCCHI, Senior Engineer and leader of this project for ENABEL. “It is also worth noting that this project is the first experience of a 100% solar-powered water desalination, that is to say without any battery, in Mozambique.”
VERGNET HYDRO and AFRIDEV MATI: First project of solar-powered water supply networks in Mozambique
“VERGNET HYDRO has just concluded its first project in Mozambique to provide solar-powered water supply networks in rural areas”, says Thierry BARBOTTE, CEO of VERGNET HYDRO. 10,000 rural people now have continuous access to clean and safe water thanks to this advanced technology. “I feel very pleased to be more and more active in this country and to reinforce our promising partnership with the local company AFRIDEV MATI [Maputo, Mozambique].”
Joël MENAGER, R&D technician at VERGNET HYDRO, helped to complete this project by providing an extensive quality control of the equipment which took nearly two weeks, ending June 9th. This procedure was required because AFRIDEV MATI didn’t have the technical experience of that kind of projects with VERGNET HYDRO yet. It was even more required that the project includes, among the nine tanks, the first VERGNET HYDRO On Fill Water Tank (OFWT) set up in Mozambique (seven-meter high and 32,000-liter tank).
All in all, nine drinking water supply networks have been set up in this project, in less than a year. The nine villages taking advantage of these water networks are located in the Gaza province; they are Buiela, Chidulo, Chissapa, Chizumbane, Mapai Ngala, Mapanhe, Muzamane, Pfukwe and Tchale. This 640,000-euro project was completely funded by the Belgian Cooperation.
“We have chosen to maintain a close partnership in this project”, states Romain DUBREUIL, the Prospection Manager of VERGNET HYDRO. VERGNET HYDRO and AFRIDEV MATI have recently signed a contract which maintains the close cooperation between them. VERGNET HYDRO has the responsibility to manage the project, performs the initial technical studies and supplies the equipment. AFRIDEV MATI is then responsible for the construction of the infrastructure at the various locations.
The partnership between VERGNET HYDRO and AFRIDEV MATI is based on a win-win relationship
The main water lines used in this project were manufactured in Mozambique. “We try to involve local SMEs in our businesses as much as possible”, Thierry BARBOTTE asserts. VERGNET HYDRO has clearly supported the growth of the young SME AFRIDEV MATI up to now. “Thanks to our partnership with VERGNET HYDRO, we have indeed been able to hire six new employees”, reports Dario AMADE, Managing Director of AFRIDEV MATI.
The partnership between VERGNET HYDRO and AFRIDEV MATI is based on a win-win relationship. “For example, we have just won a new business for five new drinking water supply networks in the province of Gaza [8,300 rural people]. The final work acceptance is scheduled for December 2017 “, Romain DUBREUIL declares.
Vergnet Hydro’s 1st drinking water supply project in Mozambique
Vergnet Hydro carries out with its local partner Afridev Mati its 1st piped drinking water networks project in Mozambique.
In total, 9 mini drinking water supply schemes powered with solar energy will be built by the end of March 2017.
This project is the opportunity to test a new type of water tank which has never been installed in Mozambique: an on-fill water tank with a capacity of 32 m³ at a height of 7 meters in the village of Pfukwe.
Click here to see the technical description of the water tank.
Drinking water supply system in Mozambique
These systems will be built in the following villages:
- Mapai Ngala
The work on sites is on progress. The 9 drinking water supply systems were designed and sized. Shipments of technical equipment started in early October.
That is great news for Vergnet Hydro, which is implementing its first drinking water supply system construction project in this area of business development.
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