New plans to cater for rising power and water demand on Praslin


Prof. Payet and his entourage visiting PUC’s facilities on Praslin

Prof. Payet was speaking after a recent visit of the various existing utilities infrastructure on Praslin as well as the sites for future projects on the corporation’s agenda.

He was accompanied by members of the PUC board, high officials from his ministry and the members of the National Assembly for Baie Ste Anne and Grand Anse Natasha Esther and Marc Volcère, as well as the district administrators.

During the tour, led by PUC chief executive Philippe Morin, Prof. Payet visited the Baie Ste Anne power station, the proposed site for a future power station and the desalination plant on Eve Island, the water treatment plant at Fond B’Offay, as well as several families who had complaints regarding the island’s water service.

Professor Payet explained that with the increasing demand for electricity and water on Praslin, it is crucial to work on new plans to evaluate and boost the existing service capacity to meet the needs.

For the existing water service, Prof.Payet said for now the desalination plant is the main source and possibilities to pump water from other sources other than sea water remains the main target of the reviewing plan.
Building new reservoirs to boost storage capacity is also among the plan, he added.
As to concerns raised by consumers regarding the desalinated water, Prof. Payet reassured them that it is up to the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard and safe to use.

Commenting on the rise in demand for electricity, the minister said studies are being done to determine the best way to increase the existing capacity.
He praised the residents for their understanding and cooperation during maintenance work on the existing electricity infrastructure.

On behalf of PUC, Mr Morin explained that as a temporary solution they are assessing whether to build a new power station, or to lay a power cable from the Mahe station.

He explained that recently, the PUC completed overhaul work on all the existing machines to ensure maximum capacity delivery.

He said that the proposed new generator will produce an extra 2.5 to three megawatts of electricity, adding to the existing eight megawatts capacity.

He explained that the new power station will be of very high environmental performance, with spillage control and fumes emission free facility.
He added that existing machines from the present station will also be moved to the new station. Compared to the existing station with outside generators, the new facility will be low in noise pollution.

 It will also use heavy fuel oil, instead of light oil which Mr Morin said will be better economically for PUC.

As new plans to deal with the water demand, Mr Morin said they will increase the production capacity of the Baie Ste Anne desalination plant, now the main water source for the island, producing 1,400 cubic metres daily.

He explained that a new reservoir of 2,000 cubic metres capacity will be built at Fond B’Offay to store desalinated water which will then be pumped to Vallée de Mai, before being sent to Nouvelle Découverte for Grand Anse consumers.
Mr Morin also reassured the public that the desalinated water is safe to drink, despite the milky colour which he said is caused by air in the pipe.

He added that PUC is constantly monitoring the quality of the water through tests carried out.

At the moment, PUC has four water treatment stations on Praslin.