Biwater gets Barclays backing for Caribbean SWRO plant

A Caribbean water and wastewater project, including a 10,400 m³/d seawater desalination plant, has received financial backing worth US$ 43 million from Barclays, backed by a UK Export Finance Guarantee.

Biwater, the UK-based engineering, water and wastewater company, has received the financing for its Water & Wastewater Infrastructure project on Tortola, the largest island in the British Virgin Islands.

The seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) system will be a two-pass system running at 45% recovery. It incorporates four first-pass trains and two second-pass trains and is designed to run at 100% capacity with one train from each pass down for maintenance. However, normal operation will be to run at 100% capacity using all trains, which is the optimal and most efficient mode.

Biwater is utilising energy recovery involving pressure exchangers, high-pressure pumps and booster pumps for the SWRO trains. Pretreatment consists of two-stage media filtration followed by 5μm cartridge filtration to protect the system from foulants.

Biwater AEWT is the RO plant supplier; equipment is being supplied from California, USA.

Barclays acted as the sole advisor, arranger, lender and facility agent. In addition, the project was fully supported by the UK government export credit agency UKEF and required close collaboration between both UKEF and the British Virgin Islands’ Government.