TOKYO -- Hitachi will start construction this year on a large-scale desalination plant at an industrial park in western India, with the facility to begin supplying water in about two years.
The total project is estimated at $600 million. Japan Bank for International Cooperation will extend loans to cover most of the cost. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is scheduled to visit India from Saturday, and his counterpart, Manmohan Singh, will affirm their commitment to the project in a joint statement.
Hitachi, in collaboration with Singapore-based Hyflux and other partners, will build the plant in the Dahej industrial park. Capable of processing a little more than 330,000 tons of water a day, the plant will be among the largest in Asia.
Within the zone, home to many automotive and chemical firms, the water supply is expected to fall some 310,000 tons short of daily demand by 2015, making the project crucial to the industrial district's continued operation.
Hitachi will not only handle construction but also take part in running the plant to accumulate related know-how.
The global market for desalination is projected to reach 4.4 trillion yen ($42.1 billion) in 2025, up 260% from 2007 levels, according to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
In India's infrastructure development market, European, American and South Korean rivals are competing to win orders. Japanese firms are moving to accelerate infrastructure exports in fields where they have technological advantages.
Toshiba will supply turbines for a coal-fired power plant to be built by NTPC, India's state-owned power company. The contract is valued at around 100 million dollars, and the facility is slated to come onstream in 2015.
In the Neemrana industrial park, Japan's METI is set to launch a solar verification project. Solar power facilities will be set up through New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization. The project will cost about 4 billion yen, and Hitachi and trading house Itochu will supply parts.