Loading Accommodation Search ....
Are we the Clever Country?: Published: The Portland Observer

Friday, 27 April 2007

Published: The Portland Observer

Exciting news... after Tuesday's council meeting, Bill Meldrum had asked for copies of my two documents, which I emailed to him on Anzac Day.

Today... headline: Drought-aid plan: Concept described as 'IV therapy' for drought-affected areas

A DESALINATION plant supplying water to drought-affected communities in northern Victoria could be built in Portland using energy from the city's aluminium smelter and geothermal resources.

The plan has been developed by Portland resident Graham Bates and submitted to Federal and State parliamentarians, as well as Portland Aluminium. It was also distributed to the Glenelg Shire Council on Tuesday night. Mr Bates is a health scientist in medical imaging and a former Department of Defence analyst with a special interest in infrastructure. The plan would also include construction of pipelines to the north and the initial use of water drawn from aquifers in the south-west. In his 40 page scientific concept paper for a low temperature multi-effect distillation desalination plant, he notes that while desalination plants have significant construction costs, Portland had two special elements that would provide dramatic savings for the operating costs in thermal desalting. They included:
# the smelter where aluminium was produced at 960 degrees celsius, the molten product sent to the ingot mill where ingots cooled off to ambient temperatures without any process to capture and re-use the heat for any other industrial purpose.
# A proven geothermal resource 1300 metres under Portland that provided water at 62 degrees celsuis. Mr Bates said the low temperature multi-effect distillation process only required the seawater feed to be heated to 65 degrees celsius before fresh water was produced. He said proactive support by Portland Aluminium for a desalination plant where potable water was used for drought mitigation purposes would ensure generation of carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions. "This activity fits well within the triple bottom line doctrine of Portland Aluminium," he said. The plan also identifies several other elements that Portland had to make the project successful. They included, in part, easy access to umpolluted seawater, deepwater port access (to cater for the delivery of modules for the project), adequate fresh groundwater reserves, main supply routes to the north, and new power generation facilities (such as Origin Energy's planned 1000MW facility at Mortlake and the Macarthur wind farm project). Although there are no costings or details of project size in the paper, Mr Bates said yesterday, he envisaged it would have to be built in modules and possibly have the potential to produce about 200 megalitres a day. "Whilst I recognise there are efforts underway to build the goldfields superpipe as a solution for the Bendigo and Ballarat communities, I cannot identify any substantial Murray-Goulburn water storages that will be available to achieve this objective," he said. "In the health service, when we deal with dehydrated patients, we don't worry about the cost Ñ we stick an IV (intravenous) drip into their arm and get them back onto the road to recovery Ñ the same principle applies here. "Our dehydrated nation needs urgent IV therapy." Mr Bates said the next steps in the process included:
# Viability, planning and consultative phases, including environmentla impact studies, with apporvals to be issued if viable.
# Concurrent construction of water pipelines between the major aquifers linking industry, communities, towns and cities from Porltand northwards.
# Construction of a desalination plant near the smelter, ensuring the use of heat exchanger technology.
# Re-evaluation of the geothermal bore complex as a contributing resource in heating seawater in the process.

No comments: