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Randolph E. Harley Power Plant Seawater Reverse Osmosis Facility Dedication Ceremony

(Saturday, August 10, 2013)

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (VIWAPA) has been reliably producing potable water by thermal desalination units for over 30 years. This process is dependent on the burning of fuel oil, and approximately 7% of every gallon of fuel oil purchased by the Authority is used to achieve thermal demand for the production of potable water. This technology was very viable in the past given the low cost of fuel, however the volatile tendencies of the fuel oil market over the last several decades has made water production quite costly. Accordingly, VIWAPA implemented a strategy to secure, potential options that would result in the lowest production cost for potable water, while simultaneously maintaining high water quality for our customers. At the conclusion of a rigorous procurement process, reverse osmosis (RO) was selected as the technology that best meets the needs of the Authority and its customers.

The change from thermal desalination to the RO production technology is projected to result in approximately 50% reduction in the production cost of water. Not only will this translate into savings and lower water rates to customers, but it will bring much needed capital improvements to the water distribution system.

Randolph E. Harley Power Plant Seawater Reverse Osmosis Facility

In April 2012 VIWAPA executed a contract to purchase water from Seven Seas Water (SSW) for the next twenty years. The agreement called for the installation of an Ultra-Pure water system (UPW) and Salt Water Reverse Osmosis Plant (SWRO). Additionally, the scope of work called for upgrades to the sea water intake infrastructure and allows for the installation of three pumps. The RO system is capable of producing a guaranteed supply of up to 3.3 MGD of water for potable use, with the capability of expanding to 4.4 MGD, and an additional 500,000 GPD of Ultra-Pure Water (UPW) for plant internal processing and applications. Customers demand for water is approximately 2 million gallons daily. The RO system will produce potable water that meets all local and federal applicable Safe Drinking Water Standards.

After two months of site preparation in the Randolph E. Harley Plant, work commenced in July 2012 and achieved substantial completion one year later. VIWAPA thanks Seven Seas for helping us realize our goal of reducing water production costs and improving plant efficiency. These enhancements will be passed on as benefits to our customers.

> Download the Harley Grand opening ceremony program in PDF format


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