The new desalination plant, located in the Rambla de Valdelentisco, in Mazarrón, Spain, has a production capacity of 57 hm³/year (70,000 m³/day) making it the number one desalination plant in Europe and third in the world.
This desalination plant utilizes reverse osmosis technology.
The construction work for the project included a sea water intake using a 4.7 m high cylindrical tower, anchored at a depth of -25.4 m, and water intake pipes in two tranches. The first 627 m executed with jacking pipe, and the second using a 823 m long HDPE pipe, anchored in the seabed. The piping brings water to a pumping station equipped with 81 pumps that drive the water through a double GRP water pipe of 1,800 mm in diameter and 785 m in length to a 1,200 m³ water tank in the enclosure of the plant. From here it is piped for pre-treatment, including filtration and addition of reagents to eliminate any biological activity. Conditioning and water pressure then takes the water to a semi-permeable membrane that allows the water to pass but not any dissolved salts. The process is carried out in 14 separate lines, each with a capacity of 10,000 m³/day. Plans exist to expand the facilities to include another 2 more lines in the future.
The brine solution is sent to a hopper, where energy is first recovered in a Francis-type turbine (9,000 m³/ h, power output 490 kW), and then the water is returned to the sea.
The resulting clean drinking water is piped to a storage tank, whereby it proceeds to be distributed for consumption.
The plant contains Processing Control, Reagent and Operation buildings, as well as those housing electricity infrastructure and transformers.