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Sat 14 Feb 2009 04:00 AM

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Sinking the potable blue

Oil and Gas Middle East gets an exclusive insight into the recently signed contract between Metito and ADMA OPCO, to supply desalinated water to Das Island.

Oil and Gas Middle East gets an exclusive insight into the recently signed contract between Metito and ADMA OPCO, to supply desalinated water to Das Island.

The outlook in 2009 for Metito - the Lebanese company who specialise in water treatment and water desalination systems - looks bright after it recently signed a US $21 million contract with Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA OPCO) for EPC work on Das Island - the centre of the UAE's offshore oil industry.

Das Island lies in the heart of the Arabian Gulf, 140km north-west of Abu Dhabi, serving as the export terminal for ADMA OPCO's oil from their offshore fields and for LNG produced by Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company (ADGAS), both of which are owned by ADNOC.

The project will require the carrying out of design, engineering, procurement, installation, construction, pre-commissioning and commissioning services for Das Island, using reverse osmosis (RO) technology and a demineralisation unit to provide boiler feed water.

The new water treatment plant will replace the existing facilities that have been in operation for the last 25 years.

"The new RO plant will replace the existing eight units of Aiton Vapour Compression Distillation that have been in operation for 25 years. The scope of work also includes a blast resistant reinforced concrete substation and control room building to house the associated ancillaries," says Omar Al-Zoubi, general manager, Metito.

"Plant output of treated water will be 2730 m3/d, and will have four SWRO (Sea Water Reverse Osmosis) trains and four BWRO (Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis) trains. It will be capable of producing the above specified minimum quantities while allowing for periodic maintenance shutdowns and shall be designed to achieve this capacity at the end of the "membrane life."

The total dissolved solids (TDS) for the feed sea water is 55 000 mg/l, which will be reduced to 300 mg/l for potable water use, and further reduced to almost zero ions for industrial applications, such as for high pressure boilers. The contract, according to Al-Zoubi, is worth exactly US$20 704 949, and should be completed in approximately 564 days.Al-Zoubi claims the main benefits offered by the Metito RO desalination system are that it is more environmentally friendly and cost effective compared with conventional methods.

"Our water desalination technology is environmentally friendly and will have no negative impact on the surrounding environment, or on the aquatic life in the sea. The reject brine out of the plant will be recycled back to the sea through an anti-siphon arrangement to the existing drainage system, while reject water temperature will be same as normal seawater temperature and free from pollutants," explains Al-Zoubi.

"The plant will be equipped with an energy recovery system in order to minimize the power consumption and therefore minimise the operation and maintenance cost. O&M cost to produce 1m3 of potable water out of RO plant will be almost one fourth of the O&M cost of the existing plants using vapour compression distillation."

Being an oil hub for Abu Dhabi, companies operating on Das Island are faced with strict HSE standards imposed by ADMA OPCO. However, Al-Zoubi believes that Metito's track record, and the fact that this is their third project on the island, ensures that these will be adhered to.

"Metito has an impeccable safety record in its 50 years of operation, and runs vigorous HSE standards that have been fully audited and approved by most of the international and national oil companies to operate on the island.

"This will be our third project on Das Island and we are very much familiar with the HSE standards set by ADMA OPCO. In addition to the three projects, we have been appointed to carry out the operation and maintenance for the wastewater treatment plant on the island for the past five years," states Al-Zoubi.

According to Al-Zoubi, upstream developments will help the company swim against the tide of a recession, due to Metito's strong position in the market and its ability to deliver energy efficient and environmental solutions, to an oil industry committed to maintaining its green credentials.

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