Sunday, May 8, 2011
Israeli desalination technology creates green energy in China
In China, a new desalination plant developed by IDE Technologies uses steam from nearby industries that otherwise would have gone up in smoke, providing precious water for power and for drinking.
Desalination plants are not only expensive to build, but they are also energy intensive. However, a new desalination plant in Tianjin, China, the country's biggest one yet, has been built by the Israeli desalination giant, IDE Technologies to be an ecologist's dream.
IDE CEO Avshalom Felber says that the new desalination plant in China, called the IDE MED (short for Multi Effect Distillation) is 50 percent more efficient than any other thermal desalination facility plant in operation today.
MED technology enables a process whereby the seawater is heated by steam and circulated through an evaporator. What makes this solution "green" is that it uses waste heat from nearby industry or power plants, creating clean water from heat that would otherwise just go up in smoke. "The first phase of the Tianjin project is already operating for the last year or so, at 100,000 cubic meters of water per day. Currently we are in the execution process of Phase II, for another 100,000 cubic meters. This is by far the largest desalination plant in China," says Felber.
IDE Technologies has some experience tailoring solutions to meet customers' demands: The company has some 400 desalination plants in about 35 countries to date. In China, IDE has just finished constructing the first of several desalination plants to provide water for the state-owned energy company SDIC's new power-generating facility. Located about 200 kilometers northeast of Beijing, the SDIC facility meets tough regulations in China, which require that new power plants must develop their own water source. Furthermore, 80 percent of the desalinated water must be designated for public consumption.
Staving off water shortages
"Water shortage is a major issue in China. It has a growing population, not yet fully reaching its planned population. And the standard of living is going higher, along with water consumption. It's still less than one quarter of the developed world, but assuming China will catch up, water shortage will be a major restriction for its economic development," Felber explains.
Currently, IDE has four 25,000-cubic-meter units installed and is planning an additional four. The Beijing region is desperate for water, says Felber, as it uses 1.5 million cubic meters per day. He is currently talking with a few major companies, as partners, to expand the desalination business deeper into the Chinese economy. "Already for the northeast part of China, the water shortage in industry is such that it can't build new industry without building a water supply. If they want to build a power plant, they need water with it," he adds.
The new SDIC power plant will generate 4,000 megawatts of power to meet the needs of Tianjin, using 20 percent of the desalinated seawater (or 20,000 cubic meters) for its steam boilers. The other 80,000 cubic meters provides drinking water to the nearby population. And instead of returning the brine to the sea, which can be damaging to the marine environment, IDE's plant instead turns it into table salt.
In terms of energy cost, one ton of steam is normally able to generate 10 tons of clean water. IDE's setup, by contrast, can generate 15 tons of water from one ton of steam, a 50 percent increase in efficiency. "Ours is one of the most efficient solutions worldwide," says Felber, noting that IDE plants require lower capital expenditures and lower maintenance costs to boot.
The Tianjin project is IDE's first foray into China. The company is looking to strengthen its position in Asia, where it has more than a dozen units installed - mainly in India, where is has been working for the last 15 years.
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IDE Technologies Ltd. is a pioneer and world leader in water technologies. The company specializes in the development, engineering, production and operation of advanced desalination as well as innovative industrial solutions.
Leading the world in clean water solutions
- Today: IDE is a world leader in the desalination industry. With more than 45 years of know-how and experience, IDE delivers end-to-end project solutions for its customers throughout the world. Leveraging superior thermal and membrane technologies, IDE specializes in the delivery and operation of various desalination and water treatment solutions.
- Tomorrow: IDE is developing a growing portfolio of economic green water treatment solutions for industry and municipalities - especially in the areas of industrial stream concentration/purification and wastewater treatment. In creating customized, end-to-end solutions for its customers, IDE leverages its proprietary technologies and skills in project management, operations, support and financing, all built through 45 years of leadership in the water industry.
- In addition: IDE continues to apply its advanced technologies in the areas of industrial evaporation and heat exchange, resulting in unique breakthrough solutions in the fields of snow and ice production, mine cooling, thermal energy storage and district heating.
Putting It All Together For Our Customers
IDE takes a comprehensive, end-to-end approach to assure the success of its projects and the satisfaction of its customers.
- Cutting-Edge, Economic Technologies: IDE's proprietary technologies and internally-developed processes are the fruit of 45 years of continuous innovation, based firmly in know-how built from work in the field. We customize these technologies to create optimized solutions applicable to the specific needs of each customer and each project.
- Project Management: IDE has built its reputation on the successful management of complex projects, including engineering, plant-building and more. IDE prides itself on its record for completing projects within budget and on time.
- Finance: IDE's financial capabilities help customers create nad execute sophisticated, achievable financing plants targeting the international financial community.
- Ongoing Operations: IDE is available to take over ongoing plant operations, service and maintenance responsibility under a variety of O&M, BOT and other frameworks.
Today IDE is jointly and equally owned by ICL - Israel Chemical Ltd. (TASE: ICL) and the Delek Group (TASE: DLEKG OTCQX: DGRLY). ICL is a global minerals and specialty chemicals company with an annual turnover of approximately US$6 billion (2008). The Delek Group is one of Israel’s largest holding groups with an annual turnover of US$12 billion (2008).