Installation of the 24 Septech mobile water desalination units started in Oman. Once operational, the units will supply 22.7 million liters of water to the residents of Muscat every day.
In the largest deal of its kind, according to Septech, the company was appointed by the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) to install the world’s largest mobile desalination plant just outside of Muscat.
The structure of the plant, a series of pre-engineered and manufactured seawater reverse osmosis containers, allows for rapid deployment, Septech said. The plant will be supplying nearly 10% of the daily potable water needs of 1 million residents in the Omani capital.
“A mobile water project on this scale has never been undertaken by any engineering company in the world. In months, not years, this project that will have an enormous impact on the water supply of Muscat,” said David Heffernan, CEO of Septech. “The challenge we face is multifaceted, but the experience we’ve gained operating in the region over the past decade has prepared us well. The plant must supply an enormous amount of potable water every day, and it must start doing so quickly, but Oman also has some of the most stringent drinking water standards in the world, so the water produced must be inline the globally recognized drinking water standards.”
Septech has chosen General Electric Water and Process Technologies to supply the mobile water assets required to service the plant.
“General Electric are leaders of international business due to the superior quality of their products, services and proven track record in providing innovative solutions,” Heffernan said.
As Oman’s population and industry increases rapidly, particularly in urban areas, the challenge is to meet the growing demand for water.
“Oman is certainly a growing market for Septech; we recently invested in setting up a full office in Muscat to allow us to capture a larger market share of the business we anticipate seeing there over the next decade, but we’re seeing similar demand for water solutions in Australia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and across the GCC region. The Middle East region has 5% of the world’s population and less than 1% of the world’s available water, so sound investment in the water infrastructure is an ever-growing priority for regional governments,” Heffernan said.
Rapid deployment was one consideration of PAEW when it appointed Septech to install a mobile facility, but the movable system also means that the plant--in its entirety or in individual sections--can be relocated to other coastal areas in Oman as soon as the planned upgrades and extensions to the permanent desalination facilities that supply Muscat are made.
“The really unique thing about this system is that it can be reconfigured for use in a variety of ways after it has served its purpose in Muscat,” Heffernan said. “In the currently planned format, we’ll be using 24 systems to convert 60 million liters of sea water into 22.7 million liters of drinking water. But once the city of Muscat’s growing needs are met by the expansion of the permanent facility, these units could be split up to supply the water needs of several remote communities with smaller populations.”