Ras Al Khaimah seawater desalination has algae shield

Northernmost of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Ras Al Khaimah, has opened a 68 Ml/d seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) project in Ghallilah on the emirate’s west coast that is equipped to “overcome the red tide phenomena” – the seasonal proliferation of algae that blights the emirates’ coastline.

The Dhs 320 million (US$ 87.1 million) facility was built by Aquatech for the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) under a engineering-procurement-construction deal awarded following competitive tender in 2011. The contract included civil works, buildings and electrical and mechanical installation.

The scale and impact of harmful algal blooms (HABs) are rising. HABs clog pre-treatment filters and and foul and damage reverse osmosis membranes as well as create bad taste and odour in the permeate.

Dissolved air flotation pretreatment is included in the Ghallilah plant to tackle algal blooms following pilot studies were by FEWA. The plant uses 4,788 Toray SWRO membrane modulars with X-Flow ultrafiltration membranes by Pentair.