Syed Amir Basha is one of the few desalination experts who also have expertise in the operations and maintenance (O&M) of reverse osmosis (RO)-based desalination plants and thermal desalination plants. During his 46 year-long career, he has worked for around 34 years in the area of thermal and membrane desalination, in the Middle East and India. He started his career in 1977 with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and gained significant experience in the design and O&M of power boilers. He is currently chief technology officer (CTO) (desalination) and head, Nemmelli Desalination Plant Operation with VA Tech Wabag.
Basha has carried out O&M of seawater RO (SWRO) plants with spiral wound membranes and hollow fibre membranes. With his troubleshooting expertise and design knowledge, he has addressed the challenges faced by desalination plants, ensuring their smooth operation at full capacity.
In light of the rising water scarcity and demand in India, Basha emphasises the need to explore technology-enabled alternative water sources. He advocates for the recycling of municipal water through tertiary treated RO, establishing an alternative and sustainable model for urban water governance.
As a designer and consultant, Basha has introduced several innovations in seawater desalination based on pilot tests that he led. He successfully commissioned the Nemmeli desalination plant (100 mld) in Chennai and augmented its capacity to 110 mld through the reuse of backwash water returned to sea. He has been operating it successfully for the past 10 years. He has also presented several papers at national and international seminars. His paper, “Sustainable Wetland Using Recycled Water – A Project by Nakheel”, received the Best Paper Poster presentation award from the International Desalination Association in 2009 at Atlantis, Dubai.
With over four decades of experience, Basha has acquired the ability to comprehend complex issues and make prompt decisions to address them effectively.
Basha has a B.E. in mechanical engineering from Madurai Kamaraj University. In his leisure time, he enjoys reading technical magazines, and watching movies and cricket. His family comprises his wife, who plays a pivotal role as a homemaker, and their two children.