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GE’s Big Bet: Water Desalination

Posted on Friday, Feb 23rd 2007

By removing salt from seawater, GE’s newest desalination plant in Algiers will supply enough drinking water to serve 25% of the country’s capital population.

GE has joined the Algerian Government, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Algerian Energy Company (AEC), in announcing plans to build Hamma Water Desalination SpA (Hamma) – Africa’s largest seawater desalination plant. Formed and funded by GE and AEC, the Hamma project is part of GE’s ecomagination effort, which is aimed at building innovative solutions to tough global problems, like water scarcity. The Hamma project will supply 25% of Algeria’s capital city’s population with desperately needed drinking water.

Funded by GE (70%) and AEC (30%), Hamma will be the first private desalination reverse osmosis potable water project in Algeria. The project will also be the largest membrane desalination plant in Africa, as well as one of the largest desalination plants in the entire world.

All this is well known, public information, provided on GE’s web site, and part of GE’s Ecomagination effort.

What is little known, however, is the technology for cost-effective Reverse Osmosis on this project is provided by a little California company called Energy Recovery Inc. (ERI). ERI is on track to do $40 Million in revenues this year, and will have a $300 Million backlog.

My strong bet is that GE will spend a good chunk of its multi billion dollar cash reserve to acquire this company within the next 18 months.

You can read the Executive Chairman, HP Michelet’s interview here, and judge for yourself:
[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]
[Part 4]
[Part 5]
[Part 6]
[Part 7]
[Part 8]
[Part 9]
[Part 10]
[Part 11]

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