Algeria commissions huge desal plant

With the need for access to clean water a growing concern for North Africa, Algeria is eyeing up the potential of desalination and has hired in a Californian company to help build a cutting edge plant that will pump out 200,000m3 of fresh water every day.

The consortium building the BeniSaf plant, GEIDA Joint Venture, has hired in Energy Recovery Inc (ERI) to provide its ultra-high efficient PX Pressure Exchanger to recover energy at the facility.

The BeniSaf project will address the region's much needed water situation, as demand for water exceeds supply. The original proposed plant with capacity of 150,000 m3/day was increased to 200,000 m3/day and is being designed and built by the Spanish GEIDA consortium comprised of Abengoa (Befesa/Codesa), Cobra-Tedagua and Sadyt. The build-own-operate project is currently scheduled for completion in late 2007.

This project using ERI's PX-220 modular technology, the most efficient reverse osmosis energy recovery device commercially available today, strengthens ERI's position in the market place as the most affordable solution for SWRO world-wide.

GEIDA selected PX technology due to its reliability and successful energy savings track record - running for many years in multiple installations worldwide.

The GEIDA Construction Joint Venture, the largest player to date in the Algerian
desalination market also selected ERI as the energy recovery solution for the 100,000
m3/day (26.4 million U.S. gallons) Skikda desalination project awarded this summer.
GEIDA has been contracted to build the BeniSaf facility and to operate the SWRO plant over 25 years.

Borja Blanco, ERI VP, large projects group, said "Algeria is quickly becoming the third largest market for seawater desalination, and the country has now over 500,000 m3/day of SWRO under construction with ERI Pressure Exchanger technology, while several other projects in Algeria are currently under consideration with ERI ceramic rotors as their energy recovery solution.

"ERI recently inaugurated its European headquarters and technical services center in Madrid, Spain, and will open its doors to a new MENA office and service center in UAE by Jan 2007. We will continue to open local logistics offices worldwide as part of our effort to provide accessible service and support to our clients around the globe."

According to ERI its PX technology has become the desalination industry standard energy recovery solution and is considered by industry engineers to be the simplest and most advanced energy recovery option.

ERI has hundreds of installations globally, helping to produce over 1.3 million m3/day of fresh water and saving clients 170MW of energy, or US$120 million a year in operating costs.

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