WEB breaks ground for new reverse osmosis water treatment plant

Kralendijk – Water- en Energie Bedrijf Bonaire N.V. (WEB) has ceremonially broken ground for the new desalination plant together with IDE Technologies (IDE). The event took place at the site chosen for the construction of the new water plant at Hato.

The construction of a new reverse osmosis plant brings Bonaire a step closer to producing all of its own drinking water. The new facility will treat up to 5600 m3 of sea water per day with state-of-the-art technology to produce drinking water for our island.

WEB organized a public tender to which suppliers from all over the world could register. Numerous suppliers expressed their interest in building the water plant for WEB. After an intensive and transparent evaluation process, the supplier IDE was chosen. As a world leader in water treatment solutions, IDE specializes in the development, engineering, construction and operation of advanced desalination and industrial water treatment plants. IDE has extensive knowledge of building and maintaining desalination plants all over the world, including the islands of the Dutch Caribbean region.

The technical specifications for the new reverse osmosis plant were put together by a group of local and international experts headed by Royal HaskoningDHV. An important requirement was to build a reverse osmosis plant consisting of two systems: a system converting sea water into brackish water (SWRO) and a system converting brackish water into pure drinking water (BWRO). Additionally, the plant must operate without the use of chemicals.

Reverse osmosis is a water treatment process where high pressure water is pumped through special membranes. It is most commonly known by the use for drinking water production from saline waters such as seawater. The treatment removes salt and other materials from the water, resulting in high-quality drinking water.

WEB currently produces an average of 1600 m3 drinking water per day and purchases about 4800 m3 per day from Suez Water Technologies & Solutions. When the new plant is up and running, WEB anticipates to be able to produce all the drinking water that residents and businesses in Bonaire need for decades to come.

The construction of the plant is expected to be completed in July 2021.

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