MUNICH, Germany, May 8, 2012 -- ASI Messina's wastewater plant in Italy is the first customer in Europe for GE's (NYSE: GE) high-performance LEAPmbr* membrane bioreactor (MBR) wastewater-treatment technology, which helps address water quality while reducing energy costs and increasing productivity. GE sold the technology to Costruzioni Dondi S.p.A., the Italian engineering, procurement and construction company that won the international public open tender for ASI Messina's wastewater plant upgrade.
"The ASI Messina plant will treat wastewater generated by two municipalities and by local industrial sites associated to the ASI Messina Consortium. By using GE's LEAPmbr technology, ASI Messina will be able to reach the high effluent qualities imposed by the local authority and will have the possibilities to reuse the treated wastewater for industrial needs," said Alessandro Rondina, technical director of Costruzioni Dondi S.p.A.
GE's LEAPmbr technology helps owners of municipal, industrial and residential water/wastewater treatment facilities around the world address their pressing water quality issues, while also reducing energy costs and increasing overall productivity of the treatment system. The Italian region is facing a number of issues related to poor wastewater management, either due to lacking infrastructure or existing plants that are obsolete and not in compliance with European Union water directives.
When applied to the ASI Messina wastewater treatment plant, GE's LEAPmbr ultrafiltration technology will control pollution and will help protect the environment through water reuse, coast preservation and low energy consumption. According to Alberto Dondi, CEO of Costruzioni Dondi S.p.A., "The ability of GE's technology to reach high treatment levels in a very confined space while providing the lowest energy consumption among all advanced technologies today were key reasons that led to us selecting GE for this important project."
The ASI Messina plant is an upgrade of an existing installation, located in Giammoro, approximately 35 kilometers from the city of Messina, the third largest city on the island of Sicily. The municipal wastewater generated by municipalities and industrial activities in the area will be treated biologically through GE's advanced ultrafiltration technology, which results in high-treatment efficiency and the best effluent quality of any advanced technologies available today.
The plant is located on the sea coast and will be discharging into the Mediterranean Sea and will serve as a high-quality water source for non-potable use by the industrial activities served by A.S.I. Messina. The new plant, once completed, will be able to treat a yearly average flow of 21 million liters per day (MLD), or 21,000 m³/d, with daily peaks up to 40,000 m³/d, which is equivalent to the daily water use of roughly 125,000 people.
"Governments and municipalities are looking into ways to reuse wastewater for not-potable purposes, particularly in places afflicted by droughts, like Southern Italy," said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO -- water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. "Our LEAPmbr technology offers unique and advanced features to solve many of these issues through ultrafiltration membranes that are able to enhance the treatment capacity three-fold when compared to conventional technologies, while at the same time reaching high effluent standards at the lowest possible running costs."
The result of a four-year development effort, GE's LEAPmbr system offers the lowest lifecycle costs available from any MBR technology, while also being cost-competitive with conventional treatment. These cost savings, along with operational simplicity and a compact footprint, derive from innovations to the popular GE ZeeWeed* 500 MBR product line -- the most widely-used, reinforced, hollow-fiber ultrafiltration technologies available. The cost and efficiency savings of GE's LEAPmbr system compared to existing GE MBR technologies include:
• A minimum 30 percent reduction in energy costs.
• A 15 percent improvement in productivity (greater water-treatment capacity).
• A 50 percent reduction in membrane aeration equipment and controls, leading to a simpler design with lower construction, installation and maintenance costs.
• A 20 percent reduction in physical footprint leading to further reduced construction and installation costs as well as lower ongoing consumption of cleaning chemicals.
Under the terms of the ASI Messina wastewater treatment plant project, GE provided Costruzioni Dondi S.p.A. the total scope of the LEAPmbr filtration unit, which also includes a three-year service contract. GE's equipment will be shipped in phases beginning in September 2012. Commercial operation is expected by the second quarter of 2013.
This installation in Italy will be the next step in a successful rollout for GE's LEAPmbr technology. In October of 2011, GE announced the results of an ongoing, nearly two-year demonstration project in Marco Island, Fla., which proved the capability of LEAPmbr technology to reduce energy costs and increase productivity.
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