GE forms salt-extraction consortium in Australia
An agreement which brings together GE, Penrice Soda Holdings Ltd, Australia's only manufacturer of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate, and Australian coal-seam gas (CSG) producer QGC Pty Ltd was announced on 24 October 2011.The companies will design, build and operate a brine pilot plant (BPP) at Penrice's chemical works at Osborne, South Australia.
The GE-Penrice BPP is part of a wider initiative by the CSG industry to investigate the technical and commercial viability of producing products such as table salt and soda ash from brine, a by-product of CSG water treatment. The primary objective of the BPP is to demonstrate the ability of the GE-Penrice process to extract and selectively precipitate salts such as sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate and sodium chloride from the final brine streams.
The plant will be operational in early 2012 and will provide new opportunities for the management of CSG water. The pilot plant will be based on technology developed by the GE-Penrice consortium, for the purpose of extracting salts from CSG water and produce commercial grades of sodium bicarbonate, soda ash and sodium chloride.
"The contract with QGC is the first step in making this technology commercially scalable and is an important initiative," said Irshaad Hakim, regional sales leader, engineered systems - water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. "We will be working closely with Penrice and QGC to further develop this process and are excited by the opportunities it presents."