Those of you who have been to Egypt’s eastern Sinai coast can vouch that even though the area is quite lovely, it’s also quite dry – from a freshwater standpoint.
An American desalination company, Energy Recovery Inc (NASDAQ: ERII), is now changing this fact by installing a very unique desalination plant in Sharem al Shiekh that not only supplies an ample amount of potable fresh water to the resorts and private residents of the town, but even enough to supply water for an 18 hole golf course.
Energy Recovery Inc (ERI) has patented a very special process that entails a rotary positive displacement pump that enables normal reverse osmosis desalination plants to “harness” the power from the high-pressure waste streams created by the desalination process.In reverse osmosis desalination, sea water gets forced through a membrane. Fresh water and steam come out the other end. The fresh water goes to a tap and ERI harnesses the steam to power the machines that force the water through the membrane. The system cuts the power required for desalination in half. Desalination is expensive and one of the biggest expenses is the energy.
Established in 1992, ERI’s pumps are now found in plants all over the world, including the one in Sharem al Skeikh and in another one in northern Egypt. The plant in Sharem has a capacity to product over 6,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day, which not only supplies ample fresh water for the area, but at a substantial energy savings as well. The use of the rotary displacement pumps go along way to make the desalination process affordable.
The biggest advantage of ERI’s unique pumps are that they enable the utilization of what would normally be a high pressure stream of waste water, by harnessing it to make the energy required for run the pant, instead of using other forms of energy such as fuel oil.
Besides Egypt and Dubai, another area country, Kuwait, is also interested in using the ERI pumps in two large desalination plants it is has under construction.
ERI’s pumps are now in operation in plants in Algeria, Australia, China, Dubai, India, Mexico, and the Caribbean to name a few.