ERI Q Series chosen for Acciona project in Chile

Spanish contractor Acciona Agua has chosen Energy Recovery Inc (ERI) energy-recovery equipment for its contract for the Minera CAP expansion desalination project in the Copiapó Valley in Chile’s Atacama Region III, ERI announced on 16 July 2013.

Acciona will install ERI‘s PX® Q Series pressure exchangers at the 21,830 m³/d plant, which has potential for expansion to 39,310 m³/d within the next year.

“We chose ERI’s PX Q Series device because it has the highest efficiency and availability of any other solution on the market,” stated Julio Zorrilla, Acciona Agua‘s director of construction for the Copiapó Plant. “From a profit and environmental standpoint, it makes the most sense for this operation.”

ERI technology is being used in numerous desalination plants in Chile. The company is working with Spanish water companies Acciona Agua, Valoriza, Aqualia and Cadagua, and is in early stage discussions with Israeli, American and Korean companies around the world, who view Chile as a strong future market.

The company says that many of the legacy plants are still using Pelton technology for energy recovery because electricity costs were lower at the time of design. Now that energy costs have risen significantly, its PX technology is an attractive choice for upgrade in the near future as the payback for investment is within months.

· Last week, ERI announced that the federal district court for the Eastern District of Virginia had issued an injunction against its former employee Leif Hauge, who played a critical role in developing the company’s pressure exchangers.

The parties’ primary disagreement involved the ownership of several patents and intellectual property related to pressure exchangers.

In issuing an injunction prohibiting Hauge or his company Isobarix from manufacturing and selling pressure exchangers and replacement parts for ERI’s pressure exchangers, the court found that Hauge had knowingly violated its prior order approving a 2001 settlement between Hauge and ERI, and thus was found to be in contempt of the court’s order.