How to optimize design to increase cost savings?

The Client's Needs

Veolia’s client was in need of a creative way to reduce cost and capital expenditures while needing to also meet a growing demand for demineralized water and cooling tower make-up to support its production processes. Increased withdrawal from the river was not possible, so the plant had to turn to well water and effluent from the local publicly owned treatment works (POTW) to meet its needs. As a result of this, a water treatment system needed to be designed to treat two different influent water qualities for two different uses -- cooling tower make-up and demineralized water.

The Solution

The client awarded Veolia Water Technologies a contract to engineer, procure, operate and maintain a 1,000-GPM process water treatment system utilizing well water and POTW effluent. The modular system implemented by Veolia uses a novel design that offers less equipment in less space while meeting the highest of performance requirements for the client.

Optimized Design

A proposed design was provided by the client during the bidding phase, however, Veolia evaluated the design to look for further efficiencies that could be gained in the process. In the process review, it was noted that while the client had proposed a sound design, the POTW effluent water, after ultrafiltration (UF), would not normally need treatment by reverse osmosis (RO) to meet the cooling tower make-up water quality requirements. Since the POTW effluent was a substantial source of the feed water, eliminating this unnecessary treatment would result in significant cost savings. In addition, Veolia proposed to operate the RO skids at a higher recovery rate than was envisioned in the request for proposal, which further reduced the number of RO skids needed to reach the treatment goals.

Furthermore, the treatment scheme proposed by Veolia allowed the system to operate in a variety of conditions depending on the flow demand and availability of well or POTW water.

Process Description

Furthermore, the treatment scheme proposed by Veolia allowed the system to operate in a variety of conditions depending on the flow demand and availability of well or POTW water.

Proposal Design
Veolia's Optimized Design

Advantages & Results

By optimizing the process design and utilizing a modular plug-and-play approach, the client was able to save more than $1.3 million in installed cost savings. Furthermore, they were able to achieve:

  • Total installed cost reduction: the design meets the performance criteria while minimizing the amount of containerized equipment
  • OPEX and maintenance optimization: the design leads to lower operational, chemical, power, and long-term maintenance costs
  • Shorter schedule: the containerized approach resulted in a significantly shorter delivery schedule with delivery within 10 months
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