The Qingdao desalination plant developed by Spanish company Abengoa has been called a model to follow for further development of desalination plants in China. The plant, which began commercial operations on January 30, 2013 (official announcement on the Abengoa website), is said to able to “produce 100,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day from seawater”.

Qingdao is the site for an annual International Conference on Desalination and Water Reuse. The 2013 conference (scheduled for June 25 – 28) will once again take place at the Shangri-La Hotel China Ballroom (kitty corner to May 4 Square, adjacent to Shandong Lu and the QD City Hall). Registration and info for the 2013 conference here. Besides the plant in Qingdao, desalination projects are being developed in China by Israel’s IDE Technologies in Tianjin, home to China’s largest thermal desalination plant.

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Abengoa SA (ABG), the Spanish company that has developed desalination plants from Algeria to India, said a new unit in China is a “model” to expand in the world’s most populous nation.

Abengoa financed the $177 million Qingdao project entirely through Chinese banks, Guillermo Bravo, a vice president at Abengoa, said at the Water Week Latin America conference in Vina Del Mar, Chile, today. The project will generate $865 million in revenue, he said.

“This is a model to follow going forward,” he said. China is turning to desalination to boost supplies in its arid northeast and has awarded contracts to Abengoa and Israel’s IDE Technologies Ltd. to build plants. China plans to triple its desalination capacity to 2.2 million cubic meters a day by 2015, according to the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission.

The Qingdao plant at the second-largest port in northern China can produce 100,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day from seawater, enough to supply the needs of half a million people, according to Abengoa.

The company began building the plant in 2010 and will operate and maintain it for 25 years.

Qingdao Desalination Plant Abengoa Interior.

Relevant Links:
Abengoa Commercial Operations Qingdao

Image Credit @ Abengoa

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