MILAN, ITALY, Apr. 12, 2011 -- Yara S.p.A., a unit of fertilizer manufacturer Yara International, has inked an agreement with GE for outsourced industrial water treatment and a facility upgrade at its Ferara, Italy, plant.
The plant in Ferrara supplies ammonia and urea liquids fertilizers to agricultural markets. It relies on a brackish, low-quality water source.
Under the $18 million agreement, GE will continue to build, own and operate the water treatment plant with onsite GE personnel through 2020. The facility currently produces up to 320 m³/hr of demineralized water using two proprietary GE technologies: brackish water reverse osmosis filtration (BWRO) and electrodeionization (EDI).
Commenting on the cost-effectiveness of the arrangement, Ferrara plant manager Frank De Vogelaere said, "We don't have to buy expensive demineralized water from an outside supplier, and we have avoided production losses caused by low-quality water."
GE began working with Yara S.p.A. in 2002 under a supply agreement for water treatment chemicals and related systems, which is ongoing. It has helped Yara avoid boiler shutdowns that occurred with a previous supplier, which were costing Yara a substantial amount per year in lost production.
Also, since 2007, Yara has outsourced to GE its condensate polishing requirements: filtration of condensed water from boiler steam to prevent deposition and corrosions which can damage equipment and lead to energy inefficiencies.
For both the recent Yara upgrade and for the condensate polishing plant, GE is supplying all water treatment equipment, plus engineering and design, pipe work, electrical installation and all other site-related requirements, as well as spare parts and field service representatives for the lives of the agreements.