GE announces first customer in Europe for its LEAPmbr wastewater treatment system near Messina, Italy

01 May 2012

GE have announced that ASI Messina of Italy is the first customer in Europe for its high-performance LEAPmbr membrane bioreactor 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 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 kilometres from the city of Messina, the third largest city on the island of Sicily. 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 ASI Messina. The new plant, once completed, will be able to treat a yearly average flow of 21 million litres 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.

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-fibre ultrafiltration technologies available.

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.

In October 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.

For more info, visit the GE LEAPmbr website.

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