Vinci to build plant in Cambodia to treat Mekong River water

France’s Vinci Construction Grands Projets signed a contract with the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority on 14 November to design and build the Bakheng water treatment plant in the northern outskirts of the Cambodian capital.

In the $155m first phase of the project, Vinci will build a facility capable of treating 195,000 cubic metres of water from the Mekong River a day.

It will install 1.5km of pipes to bring water from the river, and a 2-metre-diameter pipeline nearly 8km in length to carry clean water to half a million city residents.

This part of the project includes a 630-metre river crossing to be built with a micro-tunnelling machine.

To cut the plant’s carbon footprint, some electricity will come from 27,000 sq m of solar panels, with 3.8 MW installed capacity, Vinci said. 

The project is co-financed by the French Development Agency, the European Investment Bank and the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority.

At its height the project will employ more than 500 local workers.

The contract provides for a possible second phase worth $45m to double the plant’s treatment capacity to 390,000 cubic metres a day, which would provide drinking water for a million people.

Vinci has previous experience of water projects in Cambodia. In 2017, the company handed over the Niroth drinking water plant on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and the wastewater treatment plants at the Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports.

This year, Vinci also delivered two drinking water plants in Siem Reap and Chamkar Mon in the centre of Phnom Penh.

Photograph: Artist’s impression of the Bakheng water treatment plant planned for Phnom Penh (Vinci)

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