Israel's Palmachim Desalination Plant Adds PX Devices

Energy Recovery, Inc., a leader in the design and development of energy recovery devices for desalination, reported that its PX Pressure Exchanger™ (PX) devices have been selected for use in the expansion of Palmachim’s 115,000 m3/d desalination plant, one of the largest seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants in Israel.

The plant was built according to a 25-year Build, Operate, Own tender by the Via Maris Desalination Consortium (a partnership between Granite Hacarmel Investments, Tahal Group, Ocif and Metco) and is now expanding its capacity to 144,000 m3 (38.05 million U.S. gallons) per day.

The PX device is a rotary positive displacement pump that recovers energy from the high pressure reject stream of seawater reverse osmosis systems at up to 98 percent efficiency.

“Using ERI’s PX energy recovery devices allows us to efficiently provide more drinking water while being mindful of the associated costs,” said Igal Hanegby, general manager at Via Maris. “ERI’s technology allows us to easily expand and increase our water production over time, which was of the utmost importance to us. ERI truly understands the challenges its customers face, and worked very closely with us to provide a sound retrofit design for the plant upgrade, understanding the current water shortage conditions in Israel.”

Years of drought in Israel have caused a cumulative deficit in Israel’s renewable water resources by approximately 2 billion m3 (528.3 billion gallons), causing a severe strain on the agricultural sector of Israel. To cost-effectively address this deficit, large SWRO plants in Ashdod and Soreq are in a tender phase and an expansion of the existing plants in Ashkelon, Palmachim and Hadera are being implemented in the country. ERI’s technology significantly conserves energy consumption during desalination and by the year 2013, will help to produce approximately 1,500,000 m3 (396 million gallons) per day, bringing fresh water to about 5.5 million people throughout Israel.

“The adoption of ERI’s PX devices at desalination plants in Hadera and now Palmachim validate the significant cost and environmental benefits provided by isobaric energy recovery devices,” said Borja Blanco, senior vice president of ERI. “Seawater desalination is only a viable solution to a water crisis, if costs and energy use can be kept down.”

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