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IDE to Design Largest US Desalination Plant

Israel-based IDE Technologies has signed a contract with Kiewit Shea Desalination to design and supply equipment for the largest seawater desalination plant in the US, located near the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad, California.

The Carlsbad Project will begin construction in 2013 and produce up to 54 million gallons of fresh water per day in 2016 using IDE’s reverse osmosis process, the company says. The IDE plant will help the San Diego County Water Authority alleviate a water shortage problem and achieve its goal of having seven percent of the region’s water supply come from seawater desalination by 2020, IDE says.

IDE has also signed a contract directly with Poseidon Resources for operation and maintenance of the plant for a period of 30 years. Poseidon last week said it had secured $922 million funding for the project.

According to a report released by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in December, desalination could emerge as a $25 billion industry by 2025. Water scarcity issues and a resulting demand for treatment will be the primary driver behind the global water industry as a whole doubling its annual revenues to $1 trillion by 2020, according to A Blue Revolution – Global Water.

In July last year, GE announced a system that it says overcomes a major technical obstacle for larger desalination facilities, by reducing the energy demands associated with pumping water by at least 10 percent.

Water and Sewerage Corporation, a desalination facility in Tarpum Bay, Bahamas, has installed a pilot integrated pump and energy recovery system to further test the technology.

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