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A full-size demonstration plant that can desalinate water using solar power is to be built in Witsand, a town 250 km east of Cape Town. Construction is due to begin in July and operations are expected to commence in October.

Mascara Renewable Water’s OSMOSUN technology uses a reverse osmosis desalination unit to filter water, and the plant will produce 100 kL/d of fresh water, which covers more than 50% of the community’s needs.

The plant uses a 70 kW solar array but can also be connected to the electrical grid at times when there is insufficient solar power, and can produce up to 300 kL/d when supplemented with electricity at peak demand times.