Cyprus is the venue for this year’s European Desalination Society Conference and is also the site of a major new Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) plant which was inaugurated in Larnaca in April.

The new desalination plant in Larnaca – the largest in Cyprus – has a capacity of 54,000 m³/day and will alleviate the island’s water shortage problem. Following an international tender, the project was awarded to Larnaca Water Partners (LWP) in 1999 – a joint venture headed by IDE of Israel with Oceana Advanced Industries, also Israel and the Cypriot company, Panos N. Epiphaniou Ltd.

Guaranteeing water price

Based on the BOOT concept, the Larnaca project consists of a water sale contract between the Cypriot Government and LWP. Within the framework of this project, the developer finances, builds, owns and operates the facility as a private enterprise for a 10-year period and a set water fee. IDE holds a 60% interest in the project and Oceana the balance. At the end of this period, ownership will be transferred to the Cypriot Government. With this private ownership structure, guaranteed water pricing is achieved – at the effective date of the bid water was priced at $0.804m³ – as well as the transfer of risk from the public to the private sector.

According to the terms of the contract, IDE was contractually responsible for all phases of the project – from design to supply, construction, commissioning, financing, operation and the actual delivery of the product water to the client – as well as being directly involved as the company which leads these activities.

The team’s operations were carried out in cooperation with Water Development Department (WDD) senior engineers and experts. Local Cypriot entities and companies were involved during the construction and commissioning stages of the project and will continue to be involved during the next 10 years operation phase.

Best possible solution

The Larnaca team evaluated a number of technologies before selecting Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) as the concept offering the optimum solution for meeting product quality, technical feasibility and environmental preservation requirements.

The plant consists of six identical trains, each with an installed capacity of 9,000m³/day and has a total installed capacity of 54,000m³/day. Each train has its own dedicated feed high-pressure pump and energy recovery turbine.

The seawater feed is supplied through a 1000 metre long pipe extending into the Mediterranean Sea, with an inlet depth of some 8 metres below the sea’s surface.

Pretreatment includes flocculant/coagulant dosing, filtration through gravity filters, bisulfite dosing, acidification by sulphuric acid, and cartridge filtration at 5 microns. Potable product water post-treatment includes rehardening, pH adjustment and disinfecting, before it is pumped via a 12km long pipeline to the distribution system connection point.

The product water quality conforms to EEC drinking water standards and WHO (World Health Organisation) recommendations for potable water.

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