Chennai Water Desalination Ltd. (DWDL) has received approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for the construction of a 100 million liter a day seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant at Nemmeli near Chennai. The total cost of the project is INR9082.8 million. Of the total amount, INR8712.4 million will be funded by the central government and will be given as grant to Tamil Nadu government. The project is expected to be completed by 2010-11.

CWDL is a 75:25 consortium of Hyderabad based IVRCL Infrastructures & Projects Ltd and Befesa of Spain.

The project will lead to additional capacity of 100 million liter a day of water to meet the drinking water needs of Chennai city and will enhance supply from 100 liters per capita per day to 144 liters per capita per day. The Chennai Metro Water Supply Sewerage Board will implement the project, but the implementation mode, whether EPC or BOT, has not been stated.

Meanwhile, CWDL is already implementing a 100 million liter a day water desalination project at Minjur in north Chennai. The INR5.5 billion project is expected to commission soon. CWDL is developing the facility on DBOOT basis under a 25 year concession period. The Metrowater has agreed to purchase fresh water INR48.66 a kilolitre. The project, which was awarded in July 2005, was earlier scheduled to commission by June 2008.

However, the cost escalation and adverse project conditions resulted in commissioning delaying by 6 to 8 months.