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    Adelaide SWRO

    Reverse osmosis sea water desalination plant to supply drinking water to the city of Adelaide and its surrounding area.

    The desalination plant in Adelaide is located 52m above sea level, and this geographical positioning along with the strength environmental protection measures  make this plant unique in both design and construction.

    The Adelaide plant in Australia is revolutionary, incorporating an advanced ultrafiltration membrane pre-treatment and a two pass reverse osmosis membranes configuration which provides a lower energy usage and an increase in the recovery of the system.


    360º View of the desalination plant 

    General Information

    • Project: Adelaide Desalination Plant
    • Client: SA Water
    • Location: Port Stanvac, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
    • Capacity: 300,000 m3/day
    • Design and Construct: ACCIONA Agua designed and constructed the plant facility in joint venture with Abby Group and McConnell Dowell
    • Operations: AdelaideAqua, a company owned equally by ACCIONA & Trility now Operate and Maintain the facility for 20 years.

    Key points


    • The sea water intake is composed of a 1.5 km tunnel
    • Sodium hypochlorite and sulphuric acid can be closed in the intake minimise biofuiling and to maintain tunnel conditions
    • The sea water from the intake is pumped up to a height of 57m using 12 dry chamber pumps with a total capacity of 28,400 m3/h


    • Solids filtration systems using 24 racks of disc filters
    • Ability to add coagulant agents, active carbon and sulphuric acid
    • Pretreatment using 28 ultrafiltration submerged membrane cells
    • Safety filtration using 20 filter cartridges prior to the RO
    • Ability to add antiscalant agent to avoid salt precipitation in the system
    • Ability to add sodium metabisulphite to neutralise the oxidising agent added in the intake
    • 12 high pressure pumps

    Reverse Osmosis

    • Energy recovery system using ERI pressure exchangers
    • Energy recovery from the saline concentrate output, prior to discharge, using turbines which produce energy using the hydraulic jump between the level of the plant and the sea water
    • 20 first pass trains and 20+10 second pass trains which have been technically developed by ACCIONA
    • First train production capacity of 15,000m3/day, each made up of 180 pressure vessels, and in each one, 8 reverse osmosis membranes
    • Total recovery rate of 48%
    • Low energy consumption

    Post Treatment

    • Remineralisation using lime and CO2
    • Disinfection using chlorine and treatment using hydrofluorsilicic acid
    • 2 treated water tanks each with a capacity of 25,000m3

    Effluent treatment

    • Advanced treatment of the pre-treatment wash water
    • Neutralization of the membrane cleaning solutions

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