PLANS for a new sewage water treatment plant in Gibraltar are going ahead at a site close to Europa Point.
The government opened the tender process Friday for the Waste Management Facility on Dobinson Way, Europa Advance Road.
It wants to have the project commissioned by the end of 2024, after years of delays created by the need to find a company that could process saltwater sewage.
When authorities finally found a business that could do the job, it went bankrupt during the pandemic.
It meant the government had to return to the beginning of the tender process, trying to find a company that could do the job.
The government said the new contractor would ‘need to construct the facility in keeping with the surrounding environment’.
But it would also have to ‘house all waste management operations undercover and therefore obscured from public view’, it said in a statement.
The Development and Planning Commission would also have to give the plans the green light.
This approval process take each applicant through various strict environmental and suitability checks.
“All submissions received will be subjected to a rigorous environmental, technical and financial assessment process,” the Ministry of the Environment said.
The sewage plant is one of the few manifesto commitments the GSLP/Liberals have still failed to deliver on.
Ministers have put the blame on Brexit, COVID-19 and the high cost involved in building the facility.
A sewage plant that processes saltwater domestic waste could set the taxpayer back about £80 million.
Gibraltar uses saltwater for its sewage because it has no fresh water sources.
Local utility company AquaGib creates drinking water using the reverse osmosis system at a number of plants across the Rock.
The water is then pumped to reservoirs inside the Upper Rock, using gravity to supply homes.
Untreated saltwater-based sewage is currently pumped out through a pipe some distance from the Rock near Europa Point.
The current government has invested heavily in renewing centuries-old sewage infrastructure.