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Privatization of Combined Power & Seawater Desalination

SSI’s Experience with the Privatization of 

Combined Power Desalination Projects “IWPP/BOOT/BOT” 


            Today the water demand has been growing at a pace that far exceeds anything previously experienced by the desalination industry.  With an increasing demand for water, new desalination projects have been supported by private investment, such as banks and private investment groups, via IWPP/BOOT projects.

             Through the privatization of power desalination projects, governments are faced with a number of new challenges such as determining and/or establishing the following:

(1) methods for calculating the price of water and electricity from the IWPP/BOOT;

(2) contractual obligations;

(3) project risk items;

(4) contractual penalties;

(5) the impact of water and power profiles;

(6) issues related to availability, reliability, private company operations, and the interconnection with other existing facilities in the area.

These issues are only a few, among many, that need to be resolved and settled well in advance for any IWPP/BOOT project.

             The private sector, as a utility operator of IWPP/BOOT, becomes responsible for the billing of water and electricity production, and also becomes responsible for the water treatment facility whereby it bears the risks associated with quality.  Based on SSI’s experience in desalination plant operations and maintenance, the distilled water is subject to be contaminated during times of plant malfunction, operation upsets, and due to shortage(s) in maintenance.

               SSI is one of the first engineering firms –worldwide- to gain extensive experience related to the privatization of the simultaneous production of electricity and desalinated water facilities, or IWPP/BOOT. In the Middle Eastern region, SSI has been involved in power desalination projects in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, and other countries. SSI’s hands-on experience in operating and modifying many power desalination plants in the Middle East, the Caribbean, and the Virgin Islands has enabled the company to develop state of the art (and highly reliable) financial and economical models, operation & maintenance expense program estimates, life span “Pro-Forma,” models for predicting the price of water and electricity, risk analysis, etc., that are all specifically designed for the privatization of IWPP/BOOT. SSI has also developed “Privatization Contracts” and agreements for the sale of water and electricity from IWPP/BOOT.  

            The three key elements that dictate the economics of desalination are energy, capital and the operating cost of combined power seawater desalination. During our years of experience in the United States, Mexico and the Middle East, SSI’s improved system and process design has resulted in better plant efficiency and reliability, reduced prices for desalinated product water and reduced facility fuel consumptions.

             SSI utilized in-house optimization programs to reduce the price of one kwh and 1000 gallons (or one cu.meter) of desalinated –drinking-water in the following projects:

• Baja California, Mexico, two power seawater desalination plants (20 MW/2.5 MGD)

• Tampa, Florida Power Desalination (325 MW/20 MGD)

• Waikiki –Hawaii Power Desalination (20 MW/2.5 MGD)



SuperSystems, Inc.
Main Office: Irvine, California USA
: 949-786-7117
FAX: 949-733-3430