Management, engineering and development consultancy Mott MacDonald is involved in the development of a major desalination plant in Morocco.

The company has been appointed as lender's technical advisor by the special purpose vehicle for the project, SEDA, which comprises a joint venture of Abengoa and InfraMaroc, a Moroccan investment fund.

There is a need to upgrade the existing infrastructure that currently supplies potable water to 900,000 inhabitants in Agadir, Inezgane and AÔt Melloul. To address this, Morocco's Office National de ElectricitÈ et de l'Eau Potable has launched a MAD937 million ($95 million) public-private partnership for the finance, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a reverse osmosis desalination plant with a capacity of 100,000 cubic meters, located on the seaboard between Agadir and Essaouira.

In its role as technical advisor to Banque Marocaine du Commerce ExtÈrieur, Mott MacDonald will monitor the design and construction of the plant and analyse potential risks for the lender. The firm will also be responsible for reviewing administrative procedures, the development of studies, works progress and the handover process.

Philippe Auzet, Mott MacDonald's project director, commented: "The plant will require specific equipment for treating sea water and producing potable water, including pumps, membranes for reverse osmosis and transformers. The majority of this equipment is not available on the Moroccan market and will need to be imported from Europe and Asia."

Construction of the plant is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.