Osmoflo commissions desalination plant at OneSteel Whyalla

OneSteel will be able to reduce its reliance on mains water following the commissioning of a seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant at its Whyalla manufacturing facility in South Australia.

Provided by Osmoflo, the plant will produce more than four million litres of desalinated water a day or 1.6 Gigalitres per annum.

[Pictured above are (l) Carmine Ciccocioppo – GM Operations, Osmoflo and Matt Reed – GM Mines & Export, OneSteel.]

This will replace water currently drawn from the River Murray through the Morgan – Whyalla pipeline. Fresh water produced will be used in industrial processes.

Osmoflo has financed, designed and built the desalination plant and will operate it on behalf of OneSteel for a period 10 years.

Reverse Osmosis vessels.The official commissioning of the desalination plant came only days after the Federal Government announced its revised plan to revitalise the Murray-Darling river network which is in a state of extreme stress due to years of over-extraction.

Built in two trains, each featuring pre-treatment by micro-filtration membranes followed by reverse osmosis modules to remove salts, the plant incorporates advanced energy saving technology along with remote monitoring and control capability.

Reject water or brine from the desalination process is being transferred to OneSteel’s saltwater management system where the brine is substantially diluted prior to discharge to the Spencer Gulf.

“This state of the art plant which is fully compliant will all regulatory and environmental standards is a prime example of an industrial concern taking the lead in providing for its own water needs instead of continued total reliance on increasingly expensive mains water from Government instrumentalities," said Carmine Ciccocioppo, General Manager Operations.

"Schemes which enable the use of alternatives to potable supplies for industrial water need are increasingly financially attractive in the face of rising costs of mains water from utilities,” added Ciccocioppo.

The desalination plant is one of a number of water saving initiatives introduced by OneSteel. These include recycling and reuse of treated effluent, blowdown and tailings water.

OneSteel produces approximately 1.2 million tonnes of raw steel annually at Whyalla.

UltraFiltration vessels.Osmoflo is the largest Australian headquartered designer and manufacturer of desalination plants for the resources, energy, industrial and municipal sectors and is 40% owned by global trading entity Marubeni Corporation.

The recently-signed alliance with GE will allow Osmoflo to focus on markets and applications where GE’s standard platform of reverse osmosis membrane plants and Electrodeionisation (EDI) skids provide a unique advantage in the sub-2.5 megaliters per day range.

GE packaged systems are suited for non-complex applications involving the desalination of brackish water or seawater using reverse osmosis technology and EDI for high purity water requirements.

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