The 2010 Global Water Awards: Power and Water Plant of the Year

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For the plant commissioned in 2009 that represents the most impressive technical achievement in power and water.

Barka II, Oman

What is it?
A greenfield independent power and water project on Oman’s Gulf coast, producing 120,000m³/d of seawater through reverse osmosis, and 678MW of new power generation capacity. As part of the IWPP, the developers also acquired a 668MW brownfield power plant at Al Rusail.

Who is responsible?
The developer consortium featured GdF Suez Energy International, Mubadala Development Company and National Trading Company. The EPC contractors were Doosan Heavy Industries (power) and Degrémont (water).

What makes it special?
* The project is the first large-scale desalination facility in Oman to use reverse osmosis technology. The success of the facility is testament to the willingness of the Oman Power & Water Procurement Company to embrace fresh thinking.
* Barka II was the first Gulf IWPP to be tendered without a guaranteed baseload capacity on the power side. This required an imaginative approach from the developer consortium.
* Despite the complexity of the project, the developers were able to dig deep and work with the client to produce the best technical solution to the challenge. Investors will be able to share in their success through a partial IPO on the Muscat stock exchange later this year.

Jubail, Saudi Arabia

What is it?
A $3.4 billion power and water plant on Saudi Arabia’s east coast, producing 800,000m3/d of desalinated seawater through multiple-effect distillation, and generating 2,743MW of power.

Who is responsible?
The project was developed by a consortium of GdF Suez Energy International, ACWA Power Projects and Gulf Investment Corporation. EPC contractors GE and Hyundai Heavy Industries were responsible for the power island, while Veolia Sidem supplied the MED technology. The off-taker is Marafiq.

What makes it special?
* Jubail is the largest MED plant in the world by a factor of three. It represents a herculean feat of modern engineering that changed the rules for multiple-effect distillation.
* Despite using MED technology on a larger scale than ever before, the plant’s design has enabled electricity consumption to be kept remarkably low, at just 1.6 kWh/ m3. In addition, the plant’s gain output ratio of 9.9 is at the high end of the typical range for thermal power plants.
* The impact of the project cannot be underestimated. The water produced will help slake the thirst of over 5.5 million people on the Kingdom’s eastern seaboard, whilst keeping the wheels of Saudi industry turning. The power capacity represents approximately 10% of the current installed capacity in Saudi Arabia.

Kudankulam Atomic Power Project, India

What is it?
A new 2000MW nuclear power plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu featuring a 10,240m3/d desalination plant employing mechanical vapour compression (MVC) technology.

Who is responsible?
IDE Technologies supplied four 2,540m3/d MVC evaporators, while the power plant was constructed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Ltd.

What makes it special?
* When the Nuclear Power Corporation of India settled on Tamil Nadu for a 2000MW nuclear power plant, it faced the challenge of obtaining a reliable water source without negatively impacting other users in the area. IDE’s solution was to build a desalination plant which draws water from the open ocean, rather than using the nearby Pechiparai reservoir.
* The capex requirement was reduced by enabling the desal plant to share the power plant’s cooling water intake and outfall. The thermodynamic efficiency and operational simplicity of the MVC technology will reduce operating costs.
* Kudankulam is one of the largest desalination plants in the world supplying a nuclear facility. With the success of this plant, IDE has provided further proof that seawater desalination is a viable option for nuclear facilities in water-scarce areas.

Shuqaiq II, Saudi Arabia

What is it?
A greenfield 216,000m³/d and 850MW power and water plant in Saudi Arabia using seawater reverse osmosis. Commissioning began in December 2009.

Who is responsible?
The plant was developed by a consortium of ACWA Power Projects, Mitsubishi Corp. and Gulf Investment Corporation, with Mitsubishi acting as the EPC contractor. The offtaker is the Saudi Water and Electricity Company (WEC).

What makes it special?
* Shuqaiq is the first reverse osmosisbased IWPP in Saudi Arabia. It uses an innovative two-pass system, with Toyobo hollow-fibre membranes on the first pass, and Hydranautics spiral-wound membranes on the second pass.
* The winning water price of $1.03/m3 was more than 20% lower than the next best bid. The fact that the developers were able to deliver the plant on these terms speaks volumes for the wider acceptance of reverse osmosis technology in the Gulf power and water market.
* The permeate recycling system allows for a smaller feedwater intake, whilst reducing water losses and membrane fouling. The plant’s energy consumption of 4.4kWh/m3 is 25% lower than the industry standard for similarly-sized SWRO plants, leading to significant operational cost savings.