Case studies:

Cape Town’s first desalination plant is online, but did it pass the taste test?

When Day Zero was first announced, many South Africans were concerned to find that Cape Town, a city which receives a substantial amount of rainfall, would be faced with low dam levels. The sad reality is that South Africans who live in disadvantaged areas already face water shortage but for Cape Town, a city that has not experienced this problem in the past, it came as a shock.

The residents of Cape Town were living in fear, anxious that the day would come when there would be no running water when they open their taps. Day Zero would have an immense impact on locals, people would have to purchase litres of water which would be used for drinking, and to cook and bathe themselves. Not only would the people of Cape Town be without water, it would soon become a luxury as the price of bottled water would also increase.

Ian Neilson, the deputy Cape Town Mayor said, “It was a difficult time for Cape Town, having to go to local points to gather water. But, with the help of Proxa Water and the City of Cape Town working together, a plan of action was put in place”.

The Western Cape needed to find a potable water alternative which could save the city from the dreaded Day Zero. The City of Cape Town decided that seawater desalination technology would be the best way to go about solving the water crisis.

Our goal, alongside Water Solution SA, was to produce 7.5 MLD potable water using the desalination process. Water Solution SA and Proxa needed to design and commission a 7.5 MLD water plant, which would be injected into the city’s reticulation. When building the desalination plant, we used robust pretreatments and advanced filtration cleaning systems, which would protect the membranes and ensure plant availability.

We supported a team of highly experienced designers and built the plant. Now that the plant is built, we will continue to operate and maintain Strandfontein for the duration of the project.

Neilson continued to mention that Proxa Water, Water Solution SA, and the City of Cape Town reached their goal through water extraction, screening, coagulation, advanced media filtration, SWRO, disinfection, and remineralisation.

The Strandfontein Desalination Plant in the City of Cape Town should be a case study that will be referenced in the future. With water shortage being a crisis all over the world, the innovative technology used to purify sea water could redress the water issue at hand across the globe.

Proxa Water specialises in water treatment solutions which cover the entire water cycle. Proxa Water offers various services to industries such as consulting, design, research, development, engineering, construction, and plant modernisation. The aim is providing services which are optimal, reliable and efficiently implemented to meet our client’s needs.

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It’s an exciting time for black-owned power producers as two independent power producers (IPP) recently came online.

The two open cycle gas turbine plants, Avon Peaking Power and Dedisa Peaking Power are located in Shakaskraal, KwaZulu-Natal and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape respectively. The plants are jointly owned by Engie, black-owned company Legend Power Solutions (LPS), Mitsui and the Peakers Trust, which represents the local community. FATA commissioned PROXA to take full responsibility for all the water solutions needed at both sites, namely two boiler feed water treatment plants, two oil/water separator plants and two sewage plants.

Elie Sakhat of PROXA explains more, “PROXA was responsible for the turnkey design, fabrication, installation and commissioning of the demineralised water plant and wastewater treatment plants for both sites.” He continues, “Most notable was the wastewater plant at the Avon site. We were mindful at all times that once the effluent was cleaned, it would be discharged into an eco-sensitive estuary. To further reduce our environmental footprint at both power plants, we installed pre-manufactured skids which also minimised the interference with the client’s civil, mechanical and electrical works.”

Sakhat continues, “Not only are we aware of the impact our solutions have on the planet, but we also promote local procurement where possible – such as the case with Dedisa and Avon. PROXA was able to support the plant owner in their local procurement capability by employing locals and maximising skills development in the area.”

Together with FATA, PROXA is proud to have been able to lend our expertise and support to our black-owned energy partners. We are also pleased that we could indirectly help alleviate the strain on the South African power grid by assisting the power utility in reducing load shedding.

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Proxa Water Celebrates Pr. Chsa Registration

PROXA is proud to announce that their National SHEQ Manager, Wally van de Venter, achieved his Pr. CHSA registration on the 11th of August. Wally is one of the first 65 individuals to achieve this notable status in South Africa.

The 2014 Construction Regulations require that projects over R40 million must work alongside a Construction Health and Safety Agent (CHSA). Furthermore, that Health and Safety agent must be registered with the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) and carry the title Pr. CHSA. This is the highest of three levels that one can register for within the Health and Safety field and is based on qualifications and relevant experience.

Wally joined PROXA in August 2006 and his input on- and off-site is key in supporting the wastewater treatment specialist’s commitment to the sustainability of a high Health and Safety standard in construction. In short, it’s yet another way in which PROXA continually finds ways to do things even better.

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