Hamriyah SWRO Desalination Plant, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Hamriyah SWRO desalination plant

The Hamriyah desalination plant, owned by Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (SEWA), became operational in June 2014 with an initial seawater treatment capacity of 20 million gallons per day (90,920m³pd). The seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant is located in Sharjah, UAE, and serves the Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah Industrial Area and the Emirates Industrial Area.

Construction of the desalination plant began in February 2007 and required a total investment of approximately AED446m ($121.4m).

Hamriyah plant

The Hamriyah desalination plant is part of the first phase of the Hamriyah Station for Power Generation and Water Desalination project, which will generate 2,500MW of electricity and 140 million gallons of drinking water per day. It is located within the plant, adjacent to the Hamriyah Port and Hamriyah Free Zone situated north of Ajman.

"The RO facility uses variable speed drive and energy recovery device systems to reduce energy consumption."

On further expansion, the plant will have a capacity to produce 120 million gallons per day (455,000m³pd) of fresh water using RO technology and 48 million gallons per day (181,000m³pd) using multiple effect distillation (MED) process for desalination.

Plant components

Major components of the facility include an open seawater intake system, pre-treatment process units, two treated water storage tanks each of ten million gallons capacity and a product pumping station.

Support infrastructure of the plant includes a dissolved air flotation unit (DAF), ultra-filtration unit (UF), chemical dosing systems and low-voltage switchgear, RO unit, chemical store, external storage tanks and main electrical power and control building.

The SWRO plant combines UF process together with high feed seawater pH operation, which allows the plant to operate at high permeate flux and produce low total dissolved solids (TDS) and boron concentration in the RO permeate.

The RO unit consists of eight RO trains, each train having 110 pressure vessels with seven elements equipped with Hydranautics SWC5 membranes.

Phase 2 of the project will include 104 PX-260 PX Pressure Exchanger® energy recovery devices, which are expected to save approximately 13MW of energy.

Water-treatment process

The plant uses UF during pretreatment and RO to remove dissolved salts and impurities from ocean water. Some beneficial compounds are added to the desalinated water before being pumped to Hamriyah Free Zone and Sharjah reservoirs of SEWA from where water is supplied to Sharjah city.

Pre-treatment technology implemented by the plant helps prevent clogging of the RO membranes. The plant uses integrated membrane solutions (IMS) from Hydranautics as part of the pre-treatment process, to remove dissolved salts and impurities, while reducing contaminants, such as micro-organisms. IMS comprises Hydranautics HydraCap60 UF modules and Hydranautics high-rejection and energy-saving SWC5 seawater RO membranes.

Raw water for the process is taken from an open sea intake structure and then screened for coarse and fine impurities with rotating drum screens of 1mm mesh size. Sodium hypochlorite from an electro-chlorination system is used as disinfectant at regular intervals to handle marine growth in the system.

Two intake pumps, one operational and the other standby, each with a capacity of 11m³ph flow are installed downstream the drum screen. One pump transfers seawater to the DAF unit.

Suruç Water Tunnel is a 17.2km-long irrigation and drinking water supply tunnel located in the rural District of Suruç, at the Sanliurfa Province in Turkey.

Individual lines deliver feed water to the intake pumping station. The water is mixed with ferric chloride in the flocculation basins of the DAF unit, which is followed by dissolved air flotation to capture the suspended particles in the water.

Intermediate tanks are covered with concrete slabs and/or GRP covers to prevent any debris passing to the UF feed pumps and to the recirculation pumps. UF feed pumps, four operating and one stand-by, draw the water from the intermediate tank downstream of DAF. The UF fibres are installed with an automatic strainer system upstream of the UF plant to prevent clogging.

The UF unit, which removes the contaminants, consists of two lines containing 12 UF blocks each and fitted with auxiliary equipment for back flush, chemical enhanced back flush and air integrity testing.

An energy recovery system by pressure exchanger is installed to improve the energy efficiency of the RO plant. The RO-permeate and flushing tank collects permeate from the RO trains. The product water transfer pumps located downstream, four on-duty and one stand-by, pump the permeate to the product water tanks. Carbon dioxide and lime milk are added to adjust the pH and sodium hypochlorite for disinfection.

The RO facility uses variable speed drive and energy recovery device systems to reduce energy consumption. The water from the permeate tank is fed to displace high-salinity water.

Desalinated water is stored in two circular concrete type water tanks each with a capacity of ten million gallons (45,500m³), which is sufficient to store one day's worth of processed water from the RO plant.

Key players

A consortium of Aqua Engineering and Tecton Engineering was the construction contractor for the desalination plant.

Energy Recovery (ERI) was appointed to supply PX energy recovery devices for the desalination plant.

NRI Energy Technology