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Press Release

April 2, 2018

JICA Assists to Transform Seawater into Drinking Water by Extending an ODA Loan of INR 1,800 Crore to Project for Construction of Chennai Seawater Desalination Plant
- Benefitting the People of Chennai by Providing Clean Drinking Water -

New Delhi, April 2, 2018: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of 30,000 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 1,800 Crore) for the "Project for Construction of Chennai Seawater Desalination Plant (I)". The ODA loans are very concessional, i.e. 1.5% interest rate for project activities and 0.01 % interest rate for consulting services and 30 years of repayment period (including 10 years of the grace period).

The objective of the Project is to provide safe and reliable water supply by constructing a seawater desalination plant with a capacity of 400 Million Litres per Day (MLD) and its related water supply facilities at Perur, thereby improving living conditions of the residents, including the poor people as well as the investment environment in the concerned areas in Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) in the state of Tamil Nadu.

The ODA loan agreement was signed between H.E. Mr. Sujan R. Chinoy, Ambassador of India to Japan and Junichi Yamada, Senior Vice President, JICA at the Iikura House of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tokyo on March 29th, 2018.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India office said, "We are happy to announce that it would be the first case for JICA in India to support the construction of a seawater desalination plant to overcome the water scarcity issue in Chennai. The Project aims to provide a safe and reliable water supply for residents in CMA so as to improve the living conditions of the people. The Project will also enhance the economic growth and investment climate in the area. While JICA has been collaborating with a Japanese company, Totetsu Manufacturing Co. Ltd., on a trial basis to explore the possibility of rainwater storage system in Chennai, we remain committed to search for other complementary means that could alleviate the problem of water scarcity in Chennai."

Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) is the Executing Agency of the Project.

Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu, and the fourth largest city in India, with a population of around 8.9 million people in 2011, which is expected to exceed 15 million people in 2035. In 2015, water demand in the CMA was over 850 MLD, while average water supply was around 620 MLD. The JICA-assisted project will address water shortage in the city by bridging demand and supply. The Project will contribute to securing safe water supply by utilizing seawater as a water source.

Since 1995, JICA has extended ODA loans amounting to 110,131 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 6,500 crore) to develop water and sanitation facilities in Tamil Nadu.

PhotoPlanned area for construction of desalination plant

PhotoPlanned area for construction of transmission mains

PhotoThe Signing Ceremony took place between H.E. Mr. Sujan R. Chinoy, Ambassador of India to Japan (left) and Junichi Yamada, Senior Vice President, JICA (right) in presence of Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India (extreme left) and Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs (extreme right)

About JICA

Established, by a specific law, as an independent administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation, as a sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.

For further information, please contact:

JICA India Office
Ai Tachikawa/Vini Sharma
+91 11 49097000


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