China plans big boost to sea water desalination capacity

BEIJING - China plans to increase its sea water desalination capacity by more than five times during the next three to five years to ease a water shortage on its inhabited islands, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday (Dec 13).

About 100 sea water desalination projects will be built or upgraded in 16 coastal provinces and cities, going by a plan issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Oceanic Administration.

This will be a big boost to the existing daily desalination capacity of 135,700 tonnes - increasing it by 600,000 tonnes.

According to the plan, desalinated sea water is expected to become the main source of water for islands suffering a severe water shortage by 2020.

China has more than 11,000 islands, of which 489 are inhabited with an area of at least 500 square meters.

Over half of these inhabited islands depend on pipe systems or cargo boats for their water.

The news lifted stock prices of relevant companies on Wednesday (Dec 13). Beijing Originwater Technology climbed 1.26 per cent in the morning to 16.86 yuan (S$3.44). Zhejiang Hailiang Co. shares ended the morning session up 0.38 percent to 7.86 yuan (S$1.61).