General Electric has opened a new $250 million desalinization plant in the Mediterranean Sea for the Algerian government. The plant, equipped with massive sand filters, chemically treated membranes, high-pressure pumps, and electric turbines run by recycled brine, is financed by $200 million from the U.S.-backed Overseas Private Investment Co. On his way to Philadelphia International Airport on Friday, Garwood said the plant could purify 53 million gallons a day - enough to irrigate two million Algiers homes in the city's crowded suburbs, where water service has been intermittent.
He said cleaner membranes and better pumps enabled the plant to burn a lot less energy than pioneer models developed in the 1970s by DuPont Co., Wilmington.
Two years ago, Algeria ordered five plants from five contractors. GE Hamma is the first to go online. Garwood wants to ring the world's oceans with similar plants - and technology from Trevose.