Green Markets

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SA based Penrice Soda’s new $500,000 desalination plant: zero waste on salty bore water with $600,000 a year running cost

Posted by gmarkets on 3 October, 2007

According to Penrice Soda chief executive Guy Roberts, a new $500,000 desalination plant using salty bore water supplied the soda-ash maker with one gigalitre of water since December – 67 per cent of its annual need or enough water for 10,000 Adelaide households for a year, reported The Advertiser, (21/08/2007, p.33).

$600K a year to run: The electricity-hungry desalination plant at Penrice’s Port River, Osborne site cost about $600,000 a year to run but Roberts said the company would save in the long run. “There are some operational savings from using bore water,” he said.

Penrice slides down the guzzlers’ list: The plant had lowered Penrice down to seven on the state’s list of biggest mains-water users but Roberts said there were plans to further reduce mains-water use. At number one was BHP Billiton. “It’s a top-10 list we don’t really want to be on,” Roberts said.

Zero waste: The desalination plant was a “closed-lip system”: it used all the water and salt waste in its soda-ash and sodium-bicarbonate-making processes and could supply 100 per cent of Penrice’s needs.

Community concerns: “We’d like to, if we could, move to 100 per cent aquifer (underground) water and hand back the rest of (Adelaide’s) drinking water but that’s a slow process,” Roberts said. “Drinking water is a precious commodity and it should be used for drinking.” The aquifer tapped in to for the plant was monitored by Penrice and independent consultants to ensure no diminution of groundwater.

The Advertiser, 21/8/2007, p. 33

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