Water-Energy: Visit of the Tunisian SONEDE delegation and the CEA to Capenergies

On 6 March 2019, Capenergies welcomed a Tunisian delegation led by Mr Mosbah Helali, CEO of SONEDE (the Tunisian national water distribution utility), and several officials from the CEA’s Regional Representation, led by Dr Nidhal OUERFELLI, Advisor to the Chairman of the CEA and High Representative for the countries of the Southern Mediterranean, the Middle East and Africa.

“The aim of the CEA’s regional representation is to develop scientific and technological cooperation between the CEA, its partners in France and stakeholders from the southern shore of the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Africa. Together with the Capenergies cluster it forms a platform for cooperation in the Mediterranean region.” explains Dr Nidhal OUERFELLI.

The discussions during this trans-Mediterranean day centred around the energy strategy of SONEDE and its projects for energy efficiency and the integration of renewable energies, as well as possible synergies with the members of the cluster.

SONEDE is one of the largest public water utilities in the Middle East and North Africa region, with more than 7,000 employees, 2.46 million individual connections and a water distribution system measuring close to 48,456 km. It is also the most energy-intensive company in Tunisia.

SONEDE operates and maintains a “complex, diversified hydraulic infrastructure covering the whole country, which requires a great deal of energy for its operation, and for the production, transfer and distribution of water”.

Faced with increasing requirements for water and diminishing available resources, SONEDE is working to find the right balance. To do this, it must make use of more energy-efficient technological solutions, such as optimisation of the systems for transferring water from the north to the south, and desalination of brackish water and seawater. SONEDE is therefore looking for innovative energy management solutions that will reduce its production costs and provide people with good quality water at the best price.

Discussions continued at the Société du Canal de Provence with two stakeholders, who are committed to taking action to achieve optimised management of this precious resource, water, sharing their experience. At the invitation of the Capenergies cluster, and because the Water-Energy area requires collective action, the management of the EA Eco Entreprises cluster detailed the projects that have been implemented in the SUD region, developed within the framework of the Water-Energy OIR (Operation of Interest to the Region), in partnership with Capenergies. The SCS cluster also contributed to the discussions about the IoT, one of the future areas of development for SONEDE.