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Sur desal plant expansion 70% complete

The extension is expected to add 49,000m3 of water production per day to the current 84,200m3

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Desalinated water, Desalination, Desalination technology, Sharqiyah, Sur, News

Sharqiyah Desalinisation Co (SDC) officials have said that work on the expansion of the Sur desalinisation plant is 70 per cent complete and is on track to open in September 2016.

The extension is expected to add 49,000m3 of water production per day to the current 84,200m3. When completed, the plant will produce 133,200m3 per day, enough for 600,000 people, officials said. The current plant provides water for 350,000 people.

“We are proud of reaching these milestones and remain dedicated to helping the Sultanate of Oman meet its stringent environmental goals, while ensuring the delivery of drinking water to the Sharqiyah region,” said Philippe Paulissen, project director of the Sur extension plant.

The existing plant began operating in 2009, and work on the expansion began in March this year. The Sur plant is the primary source of water for the entire Sharqiyah region, reported Muscat daily.

The Sur plant uses the reverse osmosis (RO) process for desalinisation, in which salt is separated from the water using membranes. The original plant extracts seawater from wells dug on the beach next to the sea, called beachwells. Beachwells offer naturally filtered seawater.

Due to the limited aquifers in the beachwells, the extension will pump water directly from the sea. The new plant will have to deal with extra sea matter such as algae. That algae will be separated using a process in which the water is pressurised and bubbles naturally carry algae to the surface where it is skimmed off.

Veolia, the partner French company has a patent on this innovation, according to officials. SDC is a joint venture between Veolia and Bahwan Engineering Company incorporated in 2007.

The Sur plant runs on a BOO (build, own, operate) agreement between SDC and the Government of Oman. An initial Water Purchase Agreement (WPA) between SDC and the then Ministry of Housing, Electricity and Water (MHEW) was signed in 2007. An amended WPA to provide for the extension was signed between SDC and the state-owned Oman Power and Recruitment Company (OPWP) in 2014.

In 2013, SDC began being listed on Muscat Securities Market.

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