Water desalination plants have become an attractive alternative for supplying fresh water to regional populations mainly in coastal areas that are freshwater-poor and energy-rich. Commercial scale water desalination plants can treat seawater or brackish water to produce water suitable for human consumption (WHO or EC water quality standards), for industry and for agriculture. Commercial scale desalination plants utilize distillation, reverse osmosis (RO) or a hybrid of these technologies and processes. Commercial scale distillation technologies include "multi-stage flash" (MSF) distillation and "multiple-effect distillation" (MED) processes. The common characteristic of all existing water desalination technologies is that they each require large inputs of energy relative to their freshwater output. To the extent that inexpensive energy (such as an abundance of local fossil fuels or nuclear power) is not available, desalination may not be competitive with other potential water diversion or piped water alternatives, if these other alternatives are available and feasible at all.
Water desalination plants can be constructed as "stand-alone" facilities. However these plants must be supplied with significant quantities of heat and/or electrical energy. Distillation plants can utilize, as a heat source, the steam cycle of thermal power plants (or co-generation plants). Both RO and distillation plants can be co-located with a thermal power generator (fossil fuel or nuclear) to utilize the same seawater or brackish water intake and outfall with the power plant cooling system and may also take advantage of other shared facilities and services. Therefore, in many cases, it may be prudent to consider developing combined or co-located water desalination facilities and power plants (or co-generation plants). Such "water and power plants" ("WPPs") or independent water and power producers ("IWPPs") often demonstrate a number of thermodynamic and cost efficiencies relative to "stand-alone" facilities. Additionally, to the extent there are also nearby industrial demands for heating and water or demand for district cooling/heating, developing WPPs as co-generation plants providing for the offtake of steam, hot water and/or cooled water or fluids can also provide additional total system efficiencies.
DCS experts can assist both public and private sector clients in evaluating, planning, financing, developing, constructing, operating and managing water desalination plants, either as "stand alone" water treatment facilities or as co-located WPPs/IWPPs or co-generation facilities.
In the water desalination segment, DCS experts can add significant value through application of innovative technologies and processes, and public-private partnerships. Our advisory services help our clients align the capabilities of private sector capital, innovation, "know-how", efficiencies, life-cycle operational and maintenance discipline, and management resources with the public sector objectives of most efficiently providing and ensuring safe, clean and microbiologically controlled water to citizens and institutional, commercial and industrial water consumers at affordable prices (water and wastewater tariffs and fees). We can also assist our clients in identifying and procuring suitable vendors, technology and service providers in the water desalination segment. Our experts also have significant experience and competence in delivering water desalination infrastructure assets (or WPPs/IWPPs) within the various market model contexts, including under regulated or deregulated utility regimes, long-term water offtake agreements, and public-private partnership models such as regulated user-fee, availability or hybrid concession agreements.
As noted above, there is often significant nexus between the need for expertise in the water desalinization and energy sectors (and potentially other infrastructure sectors that we cover). Our experts also cover all types of thermal power generation, including nuclear and fossil fuel plants (gas, coal and diesel/oil) as well as all related transmission and distribution infrastructure for electricity, water and gas. We take a client-focused, multi-sectoral approach to our advisory services, where combining our expertise in both water and energy (and other relevant complementary sectors) will result in added-value and innovative results for our clients.
Please click on the below links to learn more about the specific services related to the water desalination segment that DCS experts can offer:
DCS focuses on providing the above services in the water desalination segment to the following categories of clients: