Fri | Jul 20, 2018

JPS commissions desalination plant

Published:Thursday | June 9, 2016 | 12:00 AM

THE Jamaica Public Service (JPS) has commissioned the first desalination plant of its kind in the Caribbean at its Rockfort Power Station.

It is projected to save US$35,000 in annual operating costs, while reducing by 20 per cent the water demand on the Hunts Bay aquifer.

The move is in line with the company's new 'Clean and Green' programme and forms a part of efforts to minimise any negative environmental impact from its operations.

Similar to a radiator in a car, the two 20MW diesel engines at the Rockfort Power Station use water to keep them cool as they work to generate electricity.

Each month, over 700,000 litres of the highest quality water is used to prevent damage to the engines' sensitive internal parts.

Over the past 10 years, water was drawn from a well at another of the company's power stations - the Hunts Bay Plant - converted to 99.9 per cent pure water, then trucked daily to the Rockfort Plant to keep the diesel engines operational 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Since April, it has not been necessary to truck water from the Hunts Bay Power Station to Rockfort because the Rockfort team now produces pure water on location via the recently commissioned desalination unit.




The desalination plant makes pure distilled water from saline (sea) water by removing the natural salts. The Aqua Blue-C100 freshwater generator from Alfa Laval, which is the first of its kind in the Caribbean, produces over 30,000 litres of purified water daily.

Its main inputs are seawater from the Kingston Harbour and heat energy from the diesel engines while they are in operation.

"The implementation of this element of the JPS's Clean and Green programme demonstrates the company's commitment to being PowerSmart - by improving the efficiency of the company's operations through the use of technology while preserving the environment," the JPS said.