Transforming sea water into quality water

Transforming sea water into quality water


One of the main goals of Valoriza Agua is to reduce the salt levels in sea water so as to make it drinkable or usable for certain industrial uses. The main activity of this Sacyr division centres on integral management of the water cycle through concessions, as well as designing, constructing, operating and maintaining all types of water treatment plants.

Among the five leading companies in desalination

Valoriza Agua has become a benchmark in the sector in desalination of salt and briny water through reverse osmosis and electrodialysis reversal, and is currently one of the world’s five largest companies in this sector.

To minimise the soiling of the reverse osmosis membrane, it is necessary to implement appropriate pre-treatments. In this respect, Valoriza Agua and Sadyt have developed an important innovation, by implementing an ultrafiltration process through membranes directly to the reverse osmosis (RO) process without intermediate deposits at large facilities (such as those in Israel and Chile), which not only prevents the soiling of the membranes, but also sustains continuous operation and saves energy.

The tight control the plants are subject to ensures top quality. Some plants require not only a low level of salinity in the drinkable range, but also a specific level of ions. In particular, at some desalination plants for agricultural irrigation in the Mediterranean area, a boron content level of under 0.3 mg/l is necessary, as this element is toxic for certain crops, in particular citrus fruits. This requirement makes it necessary for there to be a twofold reverse osmosis procedure, that is, where the desalinated water from the first step passes once again through osmosis membranes. Furthermore, Split systems have been introduced in the last few years, where the water is extracted from the membrane pressure tubes on both sides; this together with the installation of different types of membranes (hybrids) produces two different water qualities and enables the volume treated in the second step to be less, thus achieving considerable energy savings.

Valoriza Agua also has extensive experience in Electrodialysis reversal (EDR) for treating briny water. In Barcelona, Valoriza Agua and Sadyt built the world’s largest drinking water treatment plant which uses EDR technology. This plant was designed to produce 200,000 cubic meters of water and has been providing service, since its commissioning, to more than 2 million residents in Barcelona and part of its metropolitan area. Thanks to this plant, the quality of the water for human consumption has increased notably, as its trihalomethane content has been reduced.

Valoriza Agua operates directly or through its subsidiaries on the five continents and is a leading company with more than 70 desalination plants around the world, producing a total of over 2 million cubic metres per day.

In addition, it has a significant innovation department, where projects have been developed on managing and treating brines, detecting and eliminating odours in WWTP, reusing used osmosis membranes, and new technologies such as Forward Osmosis.

Thanks to the development of proprietary engineering specialising in water treatment processes, Valoriza Agua makes its solutions available to millions of people around the world: from Spain, to Portugal, Algeria, Tunisia, the Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Brazil and Australia, to Chile.



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