Agadir-Chtouka desalination plant strikes gold with tailored compressor solution22 January 2021

Abengoa, a major multi-national infrastructure company working in the energy and water sectors, has contracted Ingersoll Rand’s engineering project solutions team to design a tailored compressed air system for the Agadir-Chtouka desalination plant in Morocco.

Water plants depend on high-quality instrument air and service air to be clean and free of contaminants such as moisture and particles. The Agadir-Chtouka desalination plant required instrument air to power pneumatic equipment, valves and some electrical controls, as well as service air for the industrial processes at the facility, including seawater intake, the re-distribution of salt to the sea, storing drinking water in tanks, and cleaning these tanks too.

The project is sited in the challenging environmental conditions of the deserts of the Souss-Massa region.

Abengoa signed contacts to develop a desalination and irrigation project in the Agadir region in 2017. Valued at €309 million and due to come into service in March 2021, the plant will have an initial production capacity of 275,000m3 of desalinated water every day, with a maximum capacity of 450,000m3 expected.

The plant will be accompanied by reservoirs for storing drinking water, at least five pumping stations, 22km of pipelines and a distribution network of 490km.

At least 150,000m3 of water will be transported daily to Greater Agadir, delivering drinking water to 2.3 million people in the region of Souss-Massa, and then part of the water treated by reverse osmosis will also be used to irrigate 15,000 hectares in the Chtouka Ait Baha region. The facility will be the largest seawater desalination plant in Africa.

To meet the demands of the harsh desert environment, Ingersoll Rand’s engineers designed a customised enclosure for the entire system, which covers compressors, dryers, filters, pipework and its PLC system. Measuring just ten metres long, the container provides protection against the ambient conditions of the desert environment, while also incorporating air ducts to deliver the necessary ventilation that the equipment needs to operate as expected.

The customer also required a special gold colour coating for the enclosure, in order for it to blend in with its surroundings.

In total, two oil-lubricated rotary screw compressors and two refrigeration dryers were supplied from CompAir, as well as various other downstream parts, including filters and tanks. Service and maintenance contracts have also been supplied by Ingersoll Rand, together with a two-year spare parts package and an extended warranty period.

Operations Engineer

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