Desalination market in Libya to reach $478.1m by 2016 – New GWI report

Libya will be spending $478.1m per year on building and operating desalination plants suggests a new report by Global Water Intelligence. This represents a 233% increase on current expenditure according to Desalination Markets 2010*.
By: Global Water Intelligence
Oct. 9, 2010 - PRLog -- Libya currently has 1,181,961 m3/d of contracted desalination capacity, but this will rise to 4,219,723 m3/d by 2016. During that time the cost of operating existing plants and the new plants that come on line will rise to $351.0m, compared to $93.5m in 2010. This steep increase in expenditure on desalination is part of a global trend towards the development of alternative water resources in the face of growing scarcity.

The forecast is based on the timing of proposed desalination projects in Libya, and expectations of increased demand for water as a result of urbanisation, economic growth, and increased irrigation. Among the desalination projects on the horizon in Libya are proposed facilities for Bengazi, Misurata, Tobruk, Tripoli and Zawia.

Essentially the amount of naturally occurring fresh water in the world is constant – or even declining because of the over-exploitation of non-renewable ground water resources. Demand for water continues to grow as the need to increase agricultural production sucks up available water for irrigation, forcing urban water users to develop new resources. Overall global desalination capacity is expected to grow from 68.3 million m3/d at the beginning of this year to 129.9 million m3/d by the end of 2016. Full details can be found at

Christopher Gasson, editor of Desalination Markets 2010, commented: “Libya is in the midst of a water resourcing revolution. The Great Man-Made River will be used for agricultural purposes in future, whereas a new generation of desalination plants will be built and financed by private companies, to provide water for the cities. It means that Libya will be one of the most significant markets for desalination plant suppliers over the next decade.”

Desalination Markets 2010 also illustrates that after years of falling costs, the price of desalinated water has started to rise again. There has been considerable progress in reducing the energy consumption of desalination plants, which has brought down operating costs, but the cost of building new plants is rising. This is largely due to extra spending to protect the environment, and the cost of more energy efficient equipment, the report finds. Five years ago the benchmark price for a thousand litres of desalinated water was around US$0.50, but today the best plants struggle to deliver water for less than US$0.60 per thousand litres. Despite this, water from a desalination plant is still less than one thousandth of the price of bottled waters.

*Desalination Markets 2010: Global Forecast and Analysis. The market forecasts in this report are based in part on an analysis of the 300 projects tracked by GWI in its Desalination Tracker each month, and in part on GWI’s research into supply and demand for water in each country. The forecasts are completed by marrying up the capacity forecast with’s cost calculator to put a dollar value on the expected market share. In total, 33 countries are profiled, showing key market indicators, water sector structure, demand and supply of different water types and proposed plants and opportunities - along with 106 company profiles, a who’s who of industry leaders and active participants.

The report can be purchased at Global Water Intelligence, price £1700. Contact Clair Blakeway cblakeway[at] tel: +44 1865 204208.

Further information:
Besides Desalination Markets 2010, Global Water Intelligence publishes the IDA Worldwide Desalting Plant Inventory (now in its 23rd edition), GWI magazine’s Desalination Tracker (which provides updates on all major desalination projects worldwide), Water Desalination Report (a weekly newsletter for the desalination business) and (a complete online information service for the desalination industry) whose market forecasting service is widely accepted as the most authoritative in this industry. See and

Press contact and Executive Summary available from:
Ruth Newcombe: rn[at]

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Global Water Intelligence publishes high-value business information for the water industry worldwide: GWI and American Water Intelligence monthly magazines; several desalination publications; major market reports by water type, country and world region.
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