Work advances to provide treated water for Essequibo Coast

Construction work on the water treatment plant at Onderneeming, Essequibo Coast is in the advanced stage and is expected to be completed early next year.

This is according to the Director of the contracting firm, Toshiba Water Solutions, Sanjay Agrawal, who was on-site during an inspection visit by GWI Chief Executive Officer, Shaik Baksh.

Mr Agrawal said soon after the construction phase of the project is completed, equipment will be installed and tested to get the plant ready for commissioning in June 2024.

Toshiba Water Solutions Director, Sanjay Agrawal (left); GWI Chief Executive Officer, Shaik Baksh (second left) and GWI Water Treatment Infrastructure Unit Director, Aubrey Roberts with technical officers at the Onderneeming project site

Thus far the India-based company that specialises in providing turnkey services in water and wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal has encountered no major challenges.

Some 25 Guyanese are employed on the project and have been working diligently to keep the project on schedule, said Mr Agrawal, who also praised the support of GWI’s technical team.    

Men busy at work at the Onderneeming project site

Mr Baksh was satisfied with the progress of work on the plant and said he looks forward to a timely delivery of the project that will bring treated water to some 5,000 residents from Taymouth Manor to Supenaam.

Water on the Essequibo Coast contains the highest level of iron content, and this has been the source of frequent complaints from residents there.

The water treatment plant at Onderneeming and another that will be built at Maria’s Delight, together with the existing plant at Lima, are expected to significantly ease the residents’ concerns.

The water treatment plant that will be built at Maria’s Delight will serve residents from Walton Hall to Charity and is expected to be tendered before year-end.

Both the Onderneeming and Maria’s Delight projects include the installation of transmission lines, with the former costing some $2.2B and the latter $1.8B.  

Aside from the treatment plants and transmission lines for the Onderneeming and Maria’s Delight projects, two wells each will also be drilled at these sites and will see the retirement of eight old ones.

Mr Baksh said that the treatment plant, transmission line and wells at Maria’s Delight are expected to be completed in 2025. This project, along with the project at Onderneeming, is part of the Coastal Water Treatment Project, which is geared at providing treated water to the population. 

In addition to Onderneeming, similar treatment plants are being built at Parika, East bank Essequibo; Wales and Lust en Rust, West Bank Demerara; Caledonia on the East Bank; Cummings Lodge in Georgetown and Bachelor’s Adventure on the East Coast.

Most of these projects are expected to be completed in the second half of 2024 and will enable the provision of clean water to thousands of residents.  

Also, before the end of this year, GWI is expected to tender for another five new treatment plants in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six.

GWI is committed to providing treated water to 90 per cent of the population by 2025, and the Government has been investing billions of dollars annually in the sector in support of this vision.