The purpose of this paper is to describe the multi-flash desalination plant built in southeastern Sicily and to report the experiences gained over 19 years of industrial use. Today this desalination plant is the major water supply source in the district, and it is capable of supplying water, combined with that of the springs, in quantities that are sufficient for the needs of 600,000 people in addition to industrial requirements. The plant consist of four 550 m3/h desalination units where the energy supply is assured by an adequate power station which provides process steam and electricity at such a ratio to minimize fuel cost. After a brief description of the process of the operation of the desalination unit, materials used and shut-down causes will be considered. An economic analysis of the plant is also presented. The analysis shows that the main advantages of the Gela MSF system are simplicity, reliability and low production cost. © 1996, All rights reserved.
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