GE News – GE To Build Desalination Plant and Recover Salt from Wastewater Stream at Coega Plant

Today in Manufacturing news we featuring another very interesting article from General Electric.  This article is about how they will be building a desalination plant in South Africa that will be able to not only provide 70,000 m3/day of fresh water but will also be able to recover the pure salt.  For the full article please read on:

GE To Build Desalination Plant and Recover Salt from Wastewater Stream at Coega Plant


GE Water & Process Technologies, a unit of General Electric Company is to design and construct a reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant, which will provide 70,000 m3/day of fresh water. In a first for South Africa, the plant will recover ultra-pure salt from the concentrated brine stream for the production of chlorine, caustic soda, and hydrochloric acid at the refinery.


The $220 million project is part of a larger investment to build a new chlorine refinery in the Coega Industrial Zone, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This new 600 tonnes-per-day refinery will be owned and operated by Strait Chemicals and will meet the growing global demand for chlor-alkali and its derivatives.


“GE’s seawater desalination and thermal evaporation technologies will create around 630,000 tonnes of 99.9% pure salt annually,” said Earl Jones, General Manager, Structured Projects for GE Water & Process Technologies. “Reclaiming salt from the desalination brine stream not only improves the overall economics of the refinery project, but also removes logistical issues by ensuring a reliable and locally available supply of high grade salt for use in the refining of chlorine.”

Pure water produced by the desalination process, which in this case is considered a by-product, will supply up to 70,000 m3/day of potable water to about 150,000 local inhabitants of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality for drinking and local municipal use. This quantity of water will also meet the anticipated water demand for the expansion of the industrial zone. As freshwater resources in South Africa become increasingly limited, this sustainable, new source of potable water from the Coega desalination plant will help alleviate water scarcity challenges caused by low rainfall, growing populations and rising demand.


“Our customer, Straits Chemicals, has an exciting vision for infrastructure development in South Africa, and we are excited to contribute great technology and innovative solutions in support of this vision. Our strength in Seawater Desalination and Thermal Evaporation Processes, combined with our world class partners, allowed our team to provide a robust solution with superior lifecycle economics,” states Jones.


“GE is committed to providing environmentally-friendly technology solutions, which we operationalise through our global initiative called ecomagination. This project reflects our commitment to the environment by providing freshwater to help lessen the social and economic impact of water scarcity, and by taking what would otherwise be a brine waste stream, and turning that into a valuable source of salt production,” says Nellie Swanepoel, Managing Director of GE – Water and Process Technologies in South Africa.


“We are furthermore working with world-class partners in the construction of the facility, namely Baran Engineering from Israel and Group 5 which is well-known to the South African market.”


Clive Rice, Director for Straits Chemicals commented, “The construction of this desalination plant will not only impact positively on the South African economy, as the Straits Chemicals refinery will produce over 600-tonnes of chlorine a day for both domestic and non-domestic markets, but will also be beneficial to the local community in terms of providing a solution for water scarcity concerns.”


Construction of the refinery is expected to take between 18 and 24 months with the completed plant being officially commissioned towards the end of 2009. It is expected around 600 local jobs will be created during the construction phase and once operational over 250 people will be employed. The refinery will be constructed in Zone 7 on an initial 30 hectares site with an additional 5-hectares for the desalination plant.


For more information on GE Water & Process Technologies, ecomagination Leadership Awards or GE’s World Water Tour, please visit

Wood Group News – New service facility in Qatar opened by Wood Group

Today in Oil & Gas news we feature a story from the Wood Group who have opened a new service facility in Qatar in the Middle East.  This has now brought Wood GRoup’s investment in the Middle East to over £55 million.  For full article please read on:   

New service facility in Qatar opened by Wood Group


John Wood Group PLC (“Wood Group”), officially opened a new 600m2 service facility in Qatar on Tuesday 29th May 2007. Wood Group Engineering Services Qatar LLC, part of the Group’s Gas Turbine Services Division, specialises in servicing pump, compressor and valve equipment used in the power and oil & gas industries. An initial $1 million has been invested in this market entry by our Qatar facility, bringing Wood Group’s total investment to date in the Middle East region to more than $55 million.


Wood Group Engineering Services Qatar LLC has already won its first contract with a major oil & gas company in Qatar, to provide machine shop support services over three years at onshore refining and production facilities.


Stuart Broadley, Managing Director & President of Wood Group’s Light Industrial Turbines business, said: “The new facility provides operators in Qatar with local, cost-effective repair solutions delivered by a world leading service provider, and further strengthens Wood Group’s commitment to supporting the Middle East region.”


Managing the Qatar operation is new Business Unit Manager, Steven Strang, who joins Wood Group from Weir Engineering Services.

How to build a cable? – Overall Sheathing

Cable Design - Overall Sheathing
OVERALL SHEATHINGGenerally sheathing is the final operation, but in some cases further coverings, such as copper overbraid or steel wire armouring for screening or mechanical damage protection are applied. There are a wide variety of sheathing materials and finishes available, all in virtually any colour of the rainbow. They include:

PVC and Polyurethane in various grades designed to resist heat, cold, fire, oil, abrasion, fungal growth etc.. Then there is Hytrel with its high degree of mechanical strength, plus other thermoplastic elastomers such as Vacron which has the look and feel of rubber. Polyethylene and Polypropylene materials are also available. Finishes come in gloss, semi gloss, matt, satin and bi-colour. Finally the outside sheath can be printed with any information required.

How to build a Cable? – Lay-up and Screening

Cable Design - Lay-up and Screening
LAY-UP AND SCREENINGThe object of screening in cables, either individual cores, units or overall, is to prevent electro-magnetically induced interference by or to other signal transmissions in close proximity. This aspect of cable construction is becoming increasingly important, with new legislation in force in 1996 covering all office equipment and ancillary components. Kalestead are able to offer numerous methods of screening which can be used alone or in combination to achieve the best results:

1) Close helically lapped copper wires (spiral screen), ideal for individual core screening but also used in overall screening for flexibility.
2) Traditional woven braid wire screening in plain and tinned copper.
3) Aluminium coated polyester tape in conjunction with copper drain wire.
4) Conductive elastomer coating combined with 1 or 2 above.

How to Build a Cable? – Core

Cable Design - The Core

A conductor becomes a core when it has been coated with an insulating material. The purpose of the insulating material, apart from colour identifying the individual cores, is to prevent the flow of current from core to core and core to screen. The higher the operating voltage, the thicker the insulation needed.

Russian gas monopoly still top of the government agenda

Today we feature another oil and gas press release to scare the majors who operate in Russia.  The Russian government is continuing its policy of taking back the major Oil and Gas fields by not renewing the licenses and forcing this time BP, and previous to this Shell, sell their controlling stake.  For the full press article please read on: 

Russian gas monopoly still top of the government agenda


The Russian government is pressing a bold strategy this spring to secure for Gazprom, the state natural gas company, a monopoly on exports of the fuel to Asia. In the latest onslaught, Moscow is threatening one of the crown jewels of BP’s global investments: the Kovykta gas field. And it is using methods similar to those deployed last fall to force Royal Dutch Shell to sell a controlling stake in another Far Eastern Russian energy development, the Sakhalin-2 project. In that case, too, Gazprom was the beneficiary.


On Monday, BP, which operates through a Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, moved closer to losing its license to the Kovykta field when a Siberian court declined to hear the company’s arguments.


Kovykta is BP’s largest natural gas project in Russia and valuable because it is within pipeline range of industrial cities in northeastern China. The field under a forest near Lake Baikal is among the largest gas condensate deposits in the world, holding the equivalent of three times the annual natural gas demand of the United States.


At play, energy analysts say, is a Russian strategy to form a government monopoly on natural gas exports through Gazprom to Asia similar to what exists in Europe, with the scope and range to dictate prices and eliminate competition.


President Vladimir Putin has discussed playing the two markets off against each other in a grand form of haggling – though one that would depend on government control of the export routes.


That did not bode well for private energy companies operating in the country’s Far East, like TNK-BP. Shell’s ill-fated development, too, was aimed at the Asian market.


In the latest setback for BP, the Irkutsk Region Arbitration Court rejected a company lawsuit against the Ministry of Natural Resources. The ministry has threatened to strip TNK-BP’s license, claiming the company has not developed the field quickly enough.


More broadly, TNK-BP is seen as being compelled to sell a controlling stake to Gazprom or accept Gazprom as a partner in the joint venture.


“They will reach an agreement with Gazprom, or the license violations will get the better of them,” Caius Rapanu, an oil and gas analyst at UralSib brokerage, said during a telephone interview.


The pressure on TNK-BP comes on the heels of the campaign last fall against Shell, also built around a seemingly capricious enforcement of Russian law on technical matters.


Then, the Ministry of Natural Resources accused Shell of despoiling salmon spawning streams on Sakhalin Island and dumping waste into a bay.


Shell disputed the claims. As it turned out, the pressure ended when Shell sold a controlling stake to Gazprom.


The same ministry now accuses TNK-BP, which owns 65 percent of the Kovykta field, of failing to meet a license requirement to begin supplying natural gas to the region in which the field is situated by the end of 2006.


“There are a lot of parallels with what is going on now and the later stages of Sakhalin-2,” Chris Weafer, chief analyst at Alfa Bank, said during a telephone interview about the Kremlin’s tactics. “It is a carrot and stick approach to pressing its position.”


To hold onto the field, TNK-BP shifted focus to the domestic market. It partially built a pipeline connecting the to the nearest village, a logging outpost with 5,000 inhabitants.


That partly fulfilled the license requirement, though it tapped only a miniscule part of the field’s potential.


The license, however, also specified the company must supply nine billion cubic meters, or 317 billion cubic feet, of gas to the region, based on dated estimates of demand in Siberia.


Both government and industry experts now estimate demand in the area – which borders Mongolia and where the population is declining -at no more than 2.5 billion cubic meters a year; the authors of the license, issued in the early 1990s, had overestimated growth.


“Formally, the Russian government is right,” Pavel Kushnir, an oil and gas analyst at Deutsche Bank in Moscow, said during an interview by telephone. “They say that since TNK-BP is not able to meet license obligations, the license should be revoked.”


In court filings, TNK-BP argued the license requirements contradicted other Russian government documents estimating demand in the Irkutsk region. The judges declined to hear the case.


“We regret the decision of the court,” Aleksandr Shadrin, a spokesman for TNK-BP, said. He said TNK-BP would appeal.


The company, however, has seemed to emphasize negotiations rather than pressing its case in Russian court, which is not seen as a winning strategy in disputes with the Russian government because the independence of the courts is in doubt


Alex Turkeltaub, a managing director and political risk adviser with the Frontier Strategy Group, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, consultant, said BP would likely “focus on the broad strokes,” of a settlement with the Kremlin, while using the court case to stall a license revocation.


“If they don’t violate one agreement, it will be another,” he said, recalling Shell’s problems with the salmon streams. “Worrying about little details won’t help them.”