Barcelona turns sea water into drinking water
Spain, like other countries, has experienced a drop in its natural water reserves. In 2008, in a situation of severe hydric stress, Barcelona adopted reverse osmosis desalination of seawater, one of the specialities of SUEZ. The Catalan authorities entrusted the group with the construction and operation of the largest plant in Europe, and gained a drinking water production capacity of 200,000 m3/day
Deploy our desalination technologies
100 litres of seawater
Take the sea as an ally
SUEZ was entrusted with the design, construction and operation of Barcelona's desalination plant, the largest in Europe. We were therefore able to manage the water supply for urban areas while also:
- reducing withdrawals from drinking water supplies
- limiting the use of surface water
- respecting biodiversity and the marine ecosystem
SUEZ is renowned for its leading edge skills in seawater and brackish water desalination technologies and in the reuse of treated wastewater. The two main technologies implemented in the Barcelona plant were:
- reverse osmosis for desalination (membrane separation),
- ultrafiltration and disinfection processes for the reuse of wastewater.
A reliable, high-technology treatment line
SUEZ implemented a reliable, high-technology treatment line generating high yields, especially for purification operations:
- Pilot facilities were used to analyse osmosis pre-treatment, the elimination of soluble organic matter and brackish rejections.
- Then two 12-metre high towers were built underwater, 2.2 km off the coast. They capture 450,000 m3 of seawater every day.
- The plant is very energy-efficient due to the reverse osmosis technology. Even better, it can recover and save 50 % of energy consumption.
- Environmental issues are also key in this marine environment. Water intake at a depth of 25 metres and the pumping speed limit the intake of living organisms such as fish.