Veolia’s desalination technology, in use at a pilot program for Masdar’s renewable-energy powered desalination plant in Abu Dhabi, has already lowered the electrical consumption performances by 7 percent compared to the contractual target initially required by Masdar. These energy cost savings can be added to those generated by a new pretreatment design, which can save 25 percent on civil works and, therefore, reduce the footprint of the plant as well as its CAPEX, Veolia says.
Masdar’s Renewable Energy Water Desalination Program aims to test and develop advanced, energy-efficient seawater desalination technologies, with the long-term goal of implementing renewable energy-powered desalination plants in the United Arab Emirates.
As technology partners, Veolia and Masdar have shared the costs to build and operate a pilot plant with the same characteristics as future large scale, innovative and low energy consumption desalination plants. The pilot plant, built in the Ghantoot area, has been producing potable water since August, abiding by the same operation constraints as a large plant and capable of handling very harsh seawater conditions (salinity up to 52 g/l, temperature which may exceed 42 degrees C and harmful algal blooms).
Veolia says the electrical consumption is improving daily.
The technologies that Veolia has developed and implemented at Masdar include high performance seawater pretreatment combining air floatation and filtration, as well as a new osmosis membrane feed configuration able to deal with high treatment fluxes.
A Swiss company hat Veolia has been partnering with has also been developing new Energy Recovery Devices (ERD), which are implemented on the pilot. Although these are all new technologies, their development is advanced enough to consider them ready for large-scale implementation.
Veolia says the upcoming optimization phase will allow experts to push the limits of its system to further enhance the design, processes and efficiency.
Veolia also designed, built and is operating the 130 million Euros ($144 million) Campo Dalías desalination plant, one of the biggest in Europe, which began producing more than 97 million liters of desalinated water per day this month.