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Trans Africa Pipeline Update - April, 2016

Released: April 6, 2016

2016 Update:
Following Dr. Tennyson’s very successful trip to Nouakchott in July, 2015 to present the TAP concept to the Pan African Great Green Wall agency (PAGGW), the organization of 11 Sahel countries voted to support the implementation of the Trans Africa Pipeline for the establishment of the Great Green Wall.

PAGGW was formed in 2010 to begin the process of re-greening portions of the Sahel area and slowing the ongoing encroachment of the desert across the Sahel area. Tennyson’s two presentations, to the Council of Experts and the Council of Ministers, led to the endorsement of the TAP project by the PAGGW organization in its 2016-2020 Strategic Action Plan.

On December 2, 2015, TAP and PAGGW signed a Letter of Intent of Cooperation, the precursor to the signing of a formal Memorandum of Understanding. As PAGGW represents 11 independent sovereign countries, this was a significant accomplishment for TAP. 

Negotiations have now begun with Mauritania on the west coast and Sudan on the east coast on formal Memoranda of Understanding for the beginning of TAP’s Phase 1. Phase 1 entails constructing a solar-powered desalination plant on each coast (200,000 cubic meters of potable water per day output), with adjoining land-based salt ponds to treat the salt brine from the desalination plants.

In January, 2016, a meeting was held in St. Petersburg, Florida, with our director of the U.S. TAP Foundation, Luke Crampton, based in Atlanta, Georgia; representatives of a specialized renewable energy company partnering with an international government-backed engineering company based in Shanghai; and the Managing Director of Kilmurn Engineering (Ireland), the primary TAP project management team. This meeting led to drafting the specifics of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) to be presented this year to government representatives of Mauritania and Sudan. 

An MOU dealing with financing of 80 per cent of Phase 1 costs is nearing completion.

In the interim, TAP has also researched and is proposing the creation of TAP Salt Inc., a for-profit company. When TAP is completed, the coastal desalination plants will each produce 400,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day. Those plants will also produce, as a by-product, an estimated 650,000 cubic meters of salt brine each day. Most desalination plants around the world dump the salt brine produced back into the oceans. TAP Salt Inc. will instead build large-scale salt brine evaporation pond systems which will produce high-quality salt crystals and potentially, high-value lithium carbonate or hydride. The salt ponds at each end of the 8,000 km. fresh water pipeline are estimated to produce about 10 million tonnes of high quality salt per year, approximately three to four per cent of world salt production. Not only will TAP refrain from dumping concentrated salt brine back into the world’s oceans, the salt produced will be sold on the open market and will provide revenue for the operation and maintenance of the TAP infrastructure.

TAP expects to commence preliminary site visits this summer for potential locations for the plants and salt ponds. Once these are approved, the next phase is to survey and specify an appropriate pipeline route to provide potable water for millions of people located in villages and towns along the route, while providing sufficient water to irrigate farms and the planting of millions of trees to mitigate desertification now underway due to climate change.

At the same time TAP will be undertaking negotiations with investors, banks and donors to provide the additional 20 per cent funding needed to complete the infrastructure described above for Phase 1.

Released by: TAP