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City looks to build second desal plant

CARLSBAD — In an effort to keep City Council informed of the latest changes in preconstruction plans and new developments, officials from the recently approved desalination plant made a presentation June 9 to council.
Construction is set to begin early next year on the desalination plant to be built along the eastern edge of the Encina Power Station along Agua Hedionda Lagoon, and be completed by the second half of 2012, said Peter MacLaggan, senior vice president of Poseidon Resources, the owners and operators of the plant.
When completed, it will turn saltwater into 50 million gallons of drinking water per day. MacLaggan told council the construction will take 30 months. Twenty-four of those months will be on “hard construction,” he said.
MacLaggan also told council work on an extensive pipeline will take place concurrently to connect the plant with cities in North County and far south, to provide water to the nine agencies from throughout San Diego County who have each signed a 30-year agreement with Poseidon.
The quest began in 1998 for one of the largest plants in North America to be built. The plant will supply about 9 percent of the water used in San Diego County, MacLaggan said. With the final approval of the Carlsbad plant last month, MacLaggan said that Poseidon Resources can now look to increase that number by building another plant somewhere on the base in Camp Pendleton, possibly the southwest corner of the base.