Koch Membrane Systems (www.kochmem brane.com) has been selected to provide a seawater reverse-osmosis (RO) system for Minera Esperanza’s copper-gold mine, at Michilla Port, Chile. The overall project, which was awarded to Nicolaides S.A., is designed to provide drinking water to the mining camp. Construction of the system is expected to be completed in the fall of 2009.

The project consists of two MegaMagnum RO MM2 equipment skids with a total of 20 MegaMagnum seawater elements. The water supplied to the copper-gold mine begins with seawater drawn from the Pacific Ocean. The seawater is pumped for about a mile to a water treatment unit and then through the RO system. The final permeate is disinfected with chlorine, making it acceptable for drinking water. The permeate flowrate is 520,000 gallons per day; maximum feed total dissolved solids (TDS) is 45,000 PPM; and the required chloride concentration is less than 250 PPM in the finished water.

MegaMagnum elements are designed for large-diameter RO projects. Since large-diameter RO systems use one-seventh the number of elements compared to standard eight-inch systems, maintenance costs associated with connections and o-rings are reduced. KMS has made loading and unloading of MegaMagnum elements safe and easy with the use of a hand-operated winch. Typically it takes less time to empty one pressure vessel containing MegaMagnum elements than the comparable number of eight-inch pressure vessels.