Veolia to Build New Seawater Desalination Plant in Lamberts Bay
The plant will be fitted with an energy recovery system to reduce CO2 emissions
The Cederberg Municipality has awarded a R17 million ($1.7 USD) contract to the Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies subsidiary, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa, to design, build and commission a 1,7 mega liter per day seawater desalination plant in Lamberts Bay. This infrastructure upgrade will help alleviate growing pressure on the region’s water system and improve availability of high-quality water for the region’s nearly 40 000 residents.
“A steady increase in water consumption by the town and surrounding farmers has resulted in an overall drop in groundwater levels,” said Cobus Olivier, engineering manager at Veolia in Paarl. “This new plant is part of the Cederberg Municipality’s drive to correct this problem and improve water sustainability.”
A very tight budget requires Veolia to optimize standard plant designs to maintain a high design and build quality. To ensure significant energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions, the plant will be fitted with an energy recovery system as part of the plant’s initial capital investment. Specifications also require the plant to accommodate a future upgrade to 5 mega liters per day.
Due for commissioning in October 2013, the plant will source seawater from boreholes drilled nearby the shore close to Muisbosskerm. “This will provide a relatively clean source of feed water to the pre-treatment phase,” Olivier said.
Pre-treatment will involve passing seawater through a number of dual media pressure filters which remove particles and other material in preparation for treatment by reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. During the RO phase, the salt water will be forced through semi-permeable membranes, which retain salts and allow fresh water to permeate.
“Once desalinated, the water will be stabilized with limestone and CO2, and then be fed into the town’s existing fresh water network,” Olivier said.
Veolia’s manufacturing subsidiary in Spain will supply the plant’s standard compact seawater desalination skids. “The details of the operation and maintenance contract is currently being finalized with the Municipality,” Olivier said.
The Lamberts Bay contract falls on the success of six seawater desalination plants installed by Veolia along the Cape coastline since 2009 at Canon Rocks, Bushman’s River Mouth, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay and Saldanha.