Dow Technology specified for Sydney Seawater Desalination Project

Posted: Tuesday 8th July 2008

FILMTEC RO Membranes helping to ensure quality drinking water for 1.5 million residents.

With one of the world’s largest desalination projects under way, Sydney has joined the ranks of other coastal cities in Australia to identify seawater desalination as a sustainable and rainfall-independent route to providing drinking water for its burgeoning metropolitan area. Recently, Dow Water Solutions, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, signed an agreement with contractor OTV/ (Blue Water) Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies of France to supply FILMTEC™ reverse osmosis (RO) membranes contributing to efficient desalination process at the new facility.

As part of the contract, Dow will deliver approximately 36,000 FILMTEC RO membranes to enable the process of converting 250,000 cubic meters (250 million liters) of seawater per day (m3/day) into potable water, with potential for expansion to 500,000 m3/day. The wind-powered Sydney desalination plant, which will provide potable water for 1.5 million Sydney-area residents, is scheduled to come on line in the Australian summer 2009/2010.

“This latest collaboration with the John Holland group, one of Australia’s largest multi-discipline design and construction contractors and Veolia, a leader in desalination plant construction and operations, testifies to the growing interest in and support for desalination as a reliable and economically viable way to produce clean water in drought-prone, high-population areas,” says Ian Barbour, general manager, Dow Water Solutions. “For us at Dow, it’s a validation of our ongoing efforts to advance water treatment technologies that allow people to solve issues critical to their well-being and needs.”

The advanced membrane technology from Dow Water Solutions helps communities worldwide to broaden their water sourcing options, and FILMTEC™ membranes help desalination be an economically viable method of treating seawater to address global water shortages. FILMTEC RO membranes already play a key role in three of the world’s five largest desalination projects, including the plants in Tampa Bay, Fla., USA; Ashkelon, Israel; and Perth, Australia.

Over the years, improvements Dow has made in its FILMTEC membranes have provided for a threefold increase in the volume of treated water while reducing energy consumption. And, the membranes are highly resistant to biofouling, a critical feature for optimum performance and longevity.

Dow embraces the United Nations Millennium Development Goal to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2015. As the world’s largest manufacturer of RO water purification membranes, Dow believes this goal will be achieved through international dialogue and new approaches to sustainable water supplies, combining sound private and public sector water policies, dedication to long-term infrastructure development, innovation in technology and broad-scale education on water conservation.

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