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TAP Salt Inc. - Turning Brine into Salt

Released: January 9, 2016

The Trans Africa Pipeline (TAP Inc.), an 8,000 km. freshwater pipeline designed to traverse 11 countries across the Sahel area of Africa, will, on start-up, produce about 400,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day from the first of two very large scale desalination plants.

Plans are for large desalination plants to be built on both the east and the west coasts of Africa. The desalination process, however, creates extremely highly-level salt brine, which can create substantial environmental problems as most desalination plants pump the 'desal' brine back into the ocean or body of water where it originated.

TAP Inc., a non-profit organization launched and based in Canada, has developed a different and far more positive strategy. TAP Inc. has conceptualized, researched and designed TAP Salt Inc., a for-profit consortium including TAP Inc., the Pan African Great Green Wall Agency, additional government representation from the two countries where the initial desalination operations will be constructed, Mauritania and Sudan, and outside investors.

TAP Salt will eliminate the return of high-saline salt brine back into the oceans, and extract a globally-high-demand product – salt – from its desalination process; provide a financial return to TAP Inc. to support its on-going operations; provide a financial return to TAP Salt commercial investors; and to the 11 PAGGW Agency countries. This financial return will provide the PAGGW countries  with some commercial profit, education and employment opportunities to build and maintain the salt operation, and financial assets to maintain the security and the operations of the salt ponds and TAP's fresh water pipeline.

TAP's desalination plants will take in from the oceans just over one million cubic meters of salt water per day. One cubic meter of water is equal to about 264 gallons (U.S.). From that salt water, 400,000 cubic meters of fresh, potable drinking water will be extracted for use by the residents of the 11 Sahel countries.
About 650,000 cubic meters of brine is the result. This brine contains 1½ to two times greater salinity than the oceans to which it is normally returned.  At many of the desalination plants around the world, which currently number approximately 15,000, that brine is simply returned to the ocean, an action that substantially and continually increases salinity in the area and seriously endangers ocean life. 

The TAP Salt Inc. plan defines a far safer, more environmentally-friendly and commercially-viable alternative; massive salt ponds that use the area’s endless sunshine to evaporate water from the brine in a series of membrane-lined salt ponds.

The commercial uses of salt around the world are myriad, as is the substantial import of salt to many countries. The U.S.-based Salt Institute lists 1,400 commercial uses for salt which includes roads and transportation, metallurgy, pharmaceutical/medical uses as well as being an essential mineral for human health. The low-end market price for salt currently is about $50 (U.S.) per tonne and TAP Salt Inc. predicts a conservative production from its salt ponds at about 13 million tonnes of salt per year. 

TAP Inc. is currently working on solidifying its partnership with the 11 countries of the Pan African Great Green Wall Agency, which will enable the construction of TAP’s fresh water pipeline and construction of financially-valuable salt ponds. 

Released by: TAP