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Energy Central Utilities BSWC BSC (& Energy Central Company B.S.C.) has signed a Concession Agreement with Durrat Al-Bahrain for the development of a desalination plant for producing water to meet the landscape requirements within the Durrat Al-Bahrain resort development. The project has been mandated to the company by Durrat Al Bahrain under a long-term concession agreement for 25 years.The key investors of Durrat Al Bahrain are Mumtalakat (Sovereign Wealth Fund of Government of Bahrain) and Kuwait Finance House.

Durrat Al Bahrain is located on the south coast of Bahrain, this 21 km2 master development has been created across a cluster of 15 islands. It will host, among its many kaleidoscopic offerings, over 2000 beautiful beachfront villas, 3600 executive apartments and offices, luxury hotels and spa resorts, parks and entertainment precincts, mosques and international schools, premier retail malls and restaurants, a 400-berth marina, and an Ernie Els designed 18-hole championship golf course.

The company owns a sea water reverse osmosis desalination plant of an installed water production capacity of 6,000 m3/day. The desalination plant is located within utility area of the Durrat Khaleej Al Bahrain resort development. The desalination plant capacity can be expanded with ease and marginal investment because the civil and process infrastructure has been built for the ultimate capacity of 32,000 m3/day.

The Company operates and maintains the desalination plant to the highest performance standard by an in-house team which is supported by an expert organization in the field of operation and maintenance of desalination plant. To maintain a professional working atmosphere, the facility upkeep has been mandated to specialist companies.The company has installed a tanker loading facility for sale of water to the developments in and around Durrat Al Bahrain resort development.

Future Projects

  • The company also has a strategic plan of expanding into an allied area of water bottling manufacturing and distribution. Presently, discussions are ongoing with companies who are well established in the market.
  • The company is in discussions with a major development in Bahrain for provision of utility services.

Desalination Process Description

In our desalination plant the water is desalinated using the sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) technology, which is one of the most often used technology for the scale of operation we operate.

Osmosis is a natural process in which water from a weaker less concentrated solution diffuses through a semi-permeable membrane and dilutes a stronger more concentrated solution. Water will flow through the membrane from the weaker to stronger solution in an attempt to equalize the concentrations. The osmotic flow can be reduced and eventually stopped by applying pressure to the more concentrated solution.

The pressure required is proportional to the solution concentration and known as the osmotic pressure. If a pressure greater than the osmotic pressure is applied to the more concentrated solution the process can be reversed and water produced from the concentrated solution through the ability of water molecules to diffuse through the membrane more readily than salts and higher molecular weight compounds.

This is the principle of reverse osmosis which uses a semi-permeable membrane and pumping pressure to separate a saline feed water (such as seawater) into two streams; a high quality product stream (permeate) and a concentrated reject stream of higher salinity than the original feed water. The reverse membrane module is the core of the system but the desalination facility comprises other process stages and plant as illustrated in the following figure.

At Durrat Al Bahrain the seawater intake for the desalination plant is through an infiltration gallery constructed at the beach with a pipeline extending to the boundary of the plant site. Reverse Osmosis (RO) membranes are susceptible to fouling by organics and suspended solids and it is important to remove these solids before the feed water reaches the membranes in order to maintain performance and avert possible irreversible damage. Selection of the optimum pre-treatment system depends on the feed water quality and membrane type and configuration. It will involve filtration through media, cartridge filters and chemical dosing processes.

The filtrate from the pre-treatment is pumped at high pressure through the RO membrane module comprising spiral wound membranes in pressure vessels. The energy expended during the high pressure pumping is a major component of the plant operating cost and an energy recovery device has been installed that will utilize the energy in the pressurized concentrate and significantly reduce the specific energy consumption for water production.

The permeate will undergo further chemical dosing as may be required to meet the final water quality criteria and be discharged to storage tanks to be constructed on the site. Water for irrigation will be drawn from this site storage. The reject concentrate is discharged through a sea outfall provided at the site boundary.