Tarawa Desalination Plant

Tarawa Desalination Plant

Project Overview

Building a water secure future for the residents of Kiribati’s capital, South Tarawa.

Kiribati is one of the most remote and least developed countries in the world. It faces significant challenges due to its vulnerability to climate change. South Tarawa’s water supply is almost entirely dependent on underground freshwater lenses, the quality and quantity of which are seriously threatened by climate change-induced inundations and prolonged drought. Should such events occur simultaneously or in quick successions, they may reduce the lenses’ yield to zero for periods of up to five years. Given this, the lenses cannot be relied upon as the main source of water in a future with climate change.

This project aims to reduce the climate vulnerability of the entire population of South Tarawa through increased water security by providing them with a reliable, safe, and climate-resilient water supply. This will be done through the construction of a 4,000 m3 desalination plant and a photovoltaic system to provide low-emission power for the plant and the water supply network. With this project, the residents of South Tarawa will no longer need to boil drinking water, reducing emissions from burning fuel and firewood.

QPT Services conducted a heat removal analysis for the desalination equipment on site and sized the ventilation fans appropriately with VSDs installed to modulate as required. Air-conditioning systems were sized based on local conditions with filtered outside air systems to remove high salinity air prior to introducing it into the rooms.