Dr. Andreas Georgoulias
Research core team:
Cristina Contreras, ENV-SP
Judith Rodriguez, ENV-SP
Case study written by:
Mabe García, Research Fellow
US $55 million investment
Provides water 24/7 for 29.000 people
New technology applied
Phase: Operation started in April 2012
Sponsor: Seven Seas Water
In early 2010, the island of Trinidad was experiencing an extended and severe drought, resulting in dangerous brush fires, limited access to fresh water, and citizens rioting in the streets. Under a contract with the Water & Sewerage Authority of Trinidad & Tobago (WASA), Seven Seas Water was assigned in September 2013 the construction of a 5,500,000-gallon per day (20,819 m3/d) reverse osmosis desalination facility (“Point Fortin Facility”) to serve the community of Point Fortin and its neighbors in the south. The facility provides 24/7 sustainable and reliable fresh water supply to over 29,000 people.
Unlike the previous generation of desalination technology where freshwater is produced by boiling seawater and condensing the resulting evaporation (distillation technology), the Point Fortin Facility utilizes the latest in reverse osmosis technology whereby seawater is pressurized through semi-permeable membranes to produce fresh water at a fraction of the energy used by distillation technology. To further maximize the energy efficiency, the project incorporated isobaric pressure exchangers in the design to recover waste energy from the first-phase pressurization.
For further info, download executive summary in EN|SP and full text in EN|SP.