Osmoflo commissions 4,000 m³/d SWRO desalination plant

A 4,000 m³/d seawater reverse-osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant has been commissioned in Whyalla, South Australia, for steel manufacturer OneSteel.

Carmine Ciccocioppo, general manager operations for Osmoflo, and Matt Reed, general manager mines and export, for OneSteel at the commissioning.

Carmine Ciccocioppo, general manager operations for Osmoflo, and Matt Reed, general manager mines and export, for OneSteel at the commissioning.

Provided by Osmoflo, the plant will replace water currently drawn from the over-subscribed river Murray through the Morgan-Whyalla pipeline. Osmoflo has financed, designed and built the desalination plant and will operate it on behalf of OneSteel for a period 10 years.

The official commissioning of the desalination plant came only days after the federal government announced its revised plan to revitalise the Murray-Darling river network which is in a state of extreme stress due to years of over-extraction.

Built in two trains, each featuring pretreatment by microfiltration membranes followed by RO modules to remove salts, the plant incorporates advanced energy-saving technology along with remote monitoring and control capability.

Reject water or brine from the desalination process is being transferred to OneSteel's saltwater management system where the brine is substantially diluted prior to discharge to the Spencer Gulf. OneSteel produces approximately 1.2 million tonnes of raw steel annually at Whyalla.

"At Osmoflo we are involved in a number of such projects with major companies who are assuming more and more responsibility for water security. Schemes which enable the use of alternatives to potable supplies for industrial water need are increasingly financially attractive in the face of rising costs of mains water from utilities," said Carmine Ciccocioppo, general manager operations.

The desalination plant is one of a number of water-saving initiatives introduced by OneSteel. These include recycling and reuse of treated effluent, blowdown and tailings water.

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