Ashkelon Desalination Plant is a high security facility because it provides a invaluable resource called water. Much as the developed world may not realize, water a strategic asset and an problem can cause considerable effect on Israel.
The Ashkelon Panlnat provides 15% of Israel’s requirement which is 120 million cubic meter of water (1 cubic meter = 1000 gallons). The plant is owned by two partners with equal shares Violia Environment and IDE Technologies. The plant is operated on BOT – Build, Operate and Transfer Contract. The private companies have a 25 years time to hold the plant and later it will be transferred to the Israeli government. After 45 years, the plant with many other like it would aim to produce 80% of water through Desalination for the Israel. The current price of water sold by the plant to the government is approximately 80cents per cubic meter.
Technology – The Desalination plant uses a advanced technique called Reverse Osmosis. Reverse Osmosis is the process of send water from high concentration side to low concentration side which are seperated by a membrane by applying immense amount of pressure.
Stages of Desalinization:
- Pumping sea water (intake)
- High Pressure Boost
- Sea water Reverse Osmosis
- Post-treatment (Add some necessary minerals to water)
However the main ingenuity of the plant is in the use of the high pressure brine from the desalination filter to pump in more pressured water rather than using it for power generation with a turbine.