On Monday, Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan initiated the construction of Casablanca’s seawater desalination plant in Lamharza Essahel, El Jadida Province. This monumental project will become Africa’s largest desalination facility, ultimately capable of producing 300 million cubic meters of water annually, benefiting an estimated 7.5 million residents.

This initiative reflects the high priority and dedication of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to addressing the strategic issue of water resources, especially in the face of significant rainfall deficits and intense pressure on conventional water supplies across various regions of the Kingdom.

The desalination plant project is a key component of the “Enhancement of Water Supply” axis under the National Program for Potable Water Supply and Irrigation 2020-2027, launched by His Majesty the King in 2020, with a total budget expected to reach 143 billion dirhams.

The upcoming facility will meet the growing water demands of Greater Casablanca, Settat, Berrechid, Bir Jdid, and surrounding regions. The construction will be carried out in two phases on a 50-hectare site, requiring an investment of 6.5 billion dirhams through a public-private partnership.

During the first phase, set to be operational by the end of 2026, the plant will treat 548,000 cubic meters of water per day (200 million cubic meters annually). In the second phase, scheduled for mid-2028, capacity will increase to 822,000 cubic meters per day, adding an extra 100 million cubic meters annually, with 50 million cubic meters allocated for agricultural use.

This major project involves constructing a seawater desalination unit using reverse osmosis technology, alongside a water transport system that includes three pumping stations, three storage reservoirs, and a 130-kilometer distribution network. This water transport infrastructure will require a 3 billion dirham investment from public funds.

State-of-the-art, the Casablanca desalination plant will feature two 1,850-meter-long seawater intake pipelines, a 2,500-meter-long discharge pipeline, reverse osmosis desalination installations (including pressure filters and microfilters), a sludge treatment unit, a control and management center, and pumping stations, along with a storage reservoir for the produced potable water.

With a production cost estimated at 4.48 dirhams per cubic meter, the new desalination plant will be fully powered by renewable energy and its operations will be entirely automated.