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Protec Arisawa and SUEZ: Without our collaboration, the Barka IWP plant would not have been possible

In Oman, global leaders in water treatment processes and desalination plants relied on Protec Arisawa to manufacture the pressure vessels for their most important project: the Barka Independent Water Project (IWP) plant. This 281,000-m3/d capacity seawater Reverse Osmosis facility is the largest desalination plant in the country.

Finally, the Barka Desalination Company announced the opening of the Barka Independent Water Project (IWP) plant in July 2018, an essential infrastructure for the development of energy and water production for the main water network of Oman. At Protec Arisawa, we consider this major event as a new success of our state-of-the-art pressure vessel solutions.
However, Protec was not alone in this project: the Barka Independent Water Project was completed in less than 30 months by a consortium consisting of Itochu Corporation, ENGIE, SUEZ and Towell Engineering, under a 20-year Water Purchase Agreement (WPA). Thanks to the association of these main actors in water industry, the new seawater treatment complex has a capacity of 281,000 cubic meters per day: the largest desalination plant in the country. As accorded, SUEZ will operate and maintain the plant for twenty years.

Who are Protec’s partners in IWP?

SUEZ is a multinational company headquartered in Paris (France), dedicated to the operation and procurement of water, electricity and gas services in several countries around the world. Today, this group employs more than 160,000 people. With a presence on all five continents, the French company is a key player in the sustainable management of resources. SUEZ generated total revenues of €15.3B in 2016.

In this case, SUEZ was responsible for the design, construction, ownership, financing, operation and maintenance of this brand new seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant, located at a coastal site near Barka (in the Al Batinah region), on the Gulf coast of Oman, 50 km west of Muscat.

Protec Arisawa supplied the last pressure vessels for membrane filtration systems in October 2016, designed in order to reach the lowest energy consumption available from seawater RO elements, and the commissioning was started in early 2018. Protec Arisawa’s scope of supply consisted in:

  • 3006x BPV-8-1200-MSP-7
  • 175x PRO-8-450-MSP-7

Thanks to the 3,181 Protec FRP pressure vessels, the whole complex will be able to desalinate up to 281,000 cubic meters per day applying the newest reverse osmosis techniques. Since July, the Barka plant is providing an environmentally-friendly and sustained supply of high-quality drinking water with minimum electrical energy consumption, thus offering more energy efficiency than the current state-of-the-art desalination systems.

As global leader in FRP pressure vessels for reverse osmosis water purification treatments, Protec is extremely pleased to collaborate with the major players in the sector.

Oman: A territory full of new projects

But this is only the beginning… Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) initiated the pre-qualification process for developers to set-up two new independent water projects (IWPs) in the same Al Batinah region.

The two future water desalination plants will have a combined capacity to produce 250,000 cubic meters of water per day, and will be located at North Al Batinah and Barka, confirming this Red Sea area as a promising market for desalination processes, due to the growing number of membrane desalination plants in the region.

Therefore, our objective must be to expand Protec’s field of action in the Omani market, supported by the quality of the best fiber-reinforced pressure vessel solutions for water purification. At Protec we live and work every day to take part in the most ambitious projects, both from an industrial and technological viewpoint. Over 40 years of experience confirm our global leadership in the development and production of FRP vessels. This major hit in Oman is the best proof that Protec Arisawa has further reinforced its leadership position as a main supplier for the desalination industry, racks and Reverse Osmosis processes.

A new lithium extraction technique that could transform the desalination industry

Lithium is the world’s lightest metal and has been dubbed “white petroleum” due to its common usage in state-of-the-art batteries. It is a lighter, more efficient and more durable material than other competing technologies. Now, a recent desalination process with new filtration membranes could extract this mineral, vital for our everyday life, from seawater. How is that possible? As global leaders in FRP pressure vessel solutions, at Protec Arisawa we want to know more about it…

While climate change is putting huge cities like Los Angeles and Cape Town under great pressure regarding water supply, a new filtering material could be used in desalination processes to extract lithium. This major advance can potentially offset the cost of producing freshwater from the ocean. Why is this scientific achievement so important?
Just take a look. Lithium is all around us. It can be found in seawater across the planet, and in groundwater in certain geological formations. It is a vital element for batteries that power all kind of devices, from day-to-day systems like our cell phones and laptops, to military technologies such as those used in drones and electric vehicles.

How does a scarce mineral end up in our pocket?

The concentrations of lithium are very low, and this mineral is typically mined from briny lakes in a really intensive time- and energy-consuming process. Today, major producers are China, Australia and some countries in South America and Africa. However, this could change very soon.
Last February, according to a paper published in Science Advances, scientists from Monash University and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia, in cooperation with the University of Texas (Austin, USA), have managed to develop a new membrane made from a metal-organic framework, or MOF. This amazing material can imitate the filtering abilities found in organic cells, which allow some particles or molecules to pass through it, while stopping others. It sounds really promising…

Metal-organic framework membranes or MOF

In a few words, MOF has an intricate internal structure that makes it the perfect material for capturing, storing and releasing molecules. Therefore, the development of highly efficient lithium ion separation membranes is the key to achieve success in this technological challenge, especially in a world that demands huge quantities of energy storage materials (such as lithium batteries), added to the decline in the reserves of these resources.
However, there is one important piece of information to be taken into account: despite lithium’s common association with batteries, over 60% of world lithium demand comes from industrial applications, such as glass, ceramics, lubricants, and casting powders. For example, the separation of chemical mixtures on an industrial scale could account for about 10 to 15 % of the world’s total energy consumption. Currently, this mineral is worth about US$100 a pound (about €180 a kg), and it could significantly reduce the cost of seawater desalination processes, thus contributing in the production of important and vital supplies of freshwater for a thirsty planet.

Protec’s commitment to innovation and new technologies

At Protec, we believe in innovation as a fundamental value that is central to our success. It couldn’t be otherwise: As experts in pressure vessel production for Reverse Osmosis membrane filtration systems, we understand the magnitude of this new global approach that allows the extraction of a material as relevant as lithium directly from seawater.
We are a key player in our sector, and our commitment is to work for responsible innovations and a sustainable future. We strive every day to make our technologies and processes more sustainable and eco-friendly. With this in mind, we will remain vigilant to further developments in the MOF membrane filtration systems’ field of action.


Ultrafast selective transport of alkali metal ions in metal organic frameworks with subnanometer pores

Huacheng Zhang, Jue Hou, Yaoxin Hu, Peiyao Wang, Ranwen Ou, Lei Jiang, Jefferson Zhe Liu, Benny D. Freeman, Anita J. Hill and Huanting Wang.



Protec Arisawa meets executives from major Saudi firms

The Basque Internationalisation Agency has managed to get top executives from Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world, to visit the Basque Country and meet the most relevant local firms in the sector. As global leader in pressure vessel manufacturing for Reverse Osmosis desalination processes, Protec was present to ascertain cooperation and investment prospects in the United Arab Emirates.

At the beginning of July, Basque companies from the Renewable Energy, Engineering, Oil & Gas, Railway, Electric and Water sectors, held a series of inverse trade meetings with senior executives from the main Saudi oil company: Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company, one of the largest groups in the world by revenue. According to Bloomberg News, we are talking about the most profitable company in the world.

Let’s get to the background: Representatives of the Saudi energy leader senior management visited the Basque Country in the framework of a commercial exchange, an initiative promoted by Basque Trade & Invest (formerly known as SPRI). The foreign executives were also accompanied by several representatives and commercial delegations from five of the most powerful companies in the United Arab Emirates. As expected, Protec Arisawa was invited to participate in the meetings.

As the organisers stated, “the aim of this trade mission was to explore the possibilities that the possibilities that the Saudi and UAE markets offer Basque companies, and viceversa”, as well as to enhance high level relations between both regions in order to support Basque companies established abroad.

Basque Internationalisation Agency (AVI)

Protec wishes to thank the AVI/Basque Trade & Invest as a most valuable platform to spread its pressure vessel and rack solutions around the world. The corporate purpose of this agency is to promote the internationalisation of the Basque economy and companies, by supporting their international outreach, along with the competent stakeholders to attract external investments to the Basque Autonomous Community.

Two great objectives

This commercial inverse meeting between companies, knowledge and cultures had two main goals:

  • Promoting the business opportunities that these countries offer Basque companies,
  • Explaining to a number of Middle East companies invited to the Conference the opportunities for Basque companies to find business partners in four major sectors: Renewable Energy, Oil & Gas, Railway and Equipment and Contract.

The plan is to deploy a new portfolio of value added services, segmented for different company profiles in an integral model combining own and partner capacities. Of course, Protec Arisawa will stand first in line.

Middle East: the perfect context for Reverse Osmosis desalination

The United Arab Emirates market is among the most dynamic in terms of foreign trade. It is one of the 16 largest exporters and of the 20 largest importers of goods worldwide. In the period 2012-2014 its trade represented an average of almost 175% of GDP. For Protec Arisawa, this gathering between Persian Gulf and Basque companies offers incredible possibilities for its pressure vessel solutions and membrane filtration systems, financially and in terms of expansion, innovation and research.

The favourable business climate in the United Arab Emirates, its geographical location, the high level of income of its population, the strong investment plans being undertaken to diversify their economy and, in addition, the great development of infrastructures that the country is implementing to position itself as a logistics centre towards Africa and Asia, represent major incentives for Basque companies to invest in this region.

This area is a crucial ecosystem for Reverse Osmosis desalination processes due to the growing number of membrane desalination plants in the region: The Persian Gulf market for water treatment is a well-known environment for Protec Arisawa, thanks to its wide experience with first-class clients in this part of the world.


Here are the news items collected by the media about the meeting:

El Gobierno vasco logra que altos ejecutivos de la petrolera más grande del mundo, Saudí Aramco, se reúnan con empresas vascas del sector.

Empresas vascas se reúnen con ejecutivos de las principales firmas saudíes para sondear inversiones en Emiratos Árabes

Empresas vascas se reúnen con ejecutivos de las principales firmas saudíes para sondear inversiones en Emiratos Árabes


So far, 2018 is being an excellent year for Protec Arisawa

New successes in the Mediterranean region and in the Middle East pave the way for another great year of growth, international development and innovation. These are our main achievements in 2018, so far…

In many ways, 2017 was a great and profitable year for Protec Arisawa. As expected, the ambitions for 2018 were aiming high, and once again we have more than lived up to all expectations. Halfway through 2018, every effort has undoubtedly been made to lay the foundations for another productive year.

As happened last year, in 2018 our global strategy is supported by an enhanced international presence. Recently Protec attended IFAT (Munich), the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management: The perfect scenario to expand knowledge in the latest emerging desalination and water reuse technologies, where the most important actors share their knowhow.

The commercial centre of gravity now goes beyond Europe, looking boldly across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The rise in world demand for membrane filtration systems indicates that Protec Arisawa will undoubtedly benefit from this new network expansion strategy. We strive constantly to improve our products and services, and these global events are a cornerstone of our international development plan. We are pioneers in our innovating field, and at Protec Arisawa we value these professional gatherings as unique opportunities to ratify our experience and leadership in our sector.

New success in the Mediterranean region

A key project in the good development of this half-year has been the agreement reached between Protec Arisawa and Acciona Agua to produce and install 216 high-tech pressure vessels in a new desalination plant located in Sarlux, in Sardinia (Italy). Once again, Protec Arisawa has been invited for its quality and efficiency to join this Spanish leading company in water treatment in the conquest of the Mediterranean basin. This brand new desalination plant will provide daily 12,000 cubic meters of high-quality demineralised water to one of the biggest and more complex refineries in Europe, which accounts for approximately 15% of Italy’s total refining capacity.

In the same way, as announced earlier, we have once again reinforced our leadership position in pressure vessels for desalination industry in the Middle East, where we are already deploying our unique professional solutions in several huge projects, such as the Shuaiba III power and desalination complex, located in Saudi Arabia.

In this case, Protec Arisawa will provide 3,960 pressure vessels for the largest desalination complex in the world, where global leaders in desalination plants design and construction –Abengoa and Fisia Italimpianti– have relied on our expertise to develop the pressure vessels for their flagship project.

More specifically, this order is divided into 2,800 high-pressure vessels (1,200 psi) and 1,160 low pressure vessels (450 psi), intended to fulfil the reverse osmosis process requirements of a major project aimed at meeting Jeddah region’s increasing demand of water. This area is a crucial market for desalination processes due to the growing number of membrane desalination plants in the region: A geographical and socio-cultural environment where Protec moves like fish in water, thanks to our experience and clients in this part of the world.

Both partnerships will allow the company to grow in one of the most promising markets for the industry, in line with a solid international expansion strategy. The adequate understanding of the different international realities can transform them into opportunities: The appropriate identification of the markets where we aspire to strengthen our position is only the first step in searching new ways of adapting and accompanying the chosen environment.

We develop new solutions to conquer future markets

Nothing like innovating to win our clients’ favour, especially when Protec Arisawa’s offer is based on excellence and quality. Over 40 years of experience confirm our global leadership in the development and production of fiber-reinforced plastic pressure vessels for water purification treatments. We use the latest technologies, in order to produce our customized reverse osmosis solutions on a smaller, faster and more compact scale. Innovation is definitely part of our DNA.

Protec returns from IFAT full of optimism and new ideas.

IFAT 2018 was a not-to-be-missed trade fair: as leading manufacturer in FRP pressure vessels for water purification processes, Protec Arisawa was expected to deploy and showcase state-of-the-art solutions at this event, unique for networking, knowledge sharing, innovation and new business opportunities. Once again, we have exceeded all expectations thanks to our know-how and experience!

For those who are not yet familiar with this meeting, IFAT is the stage on which the most important companies in the water sector present the technologies of the future for a cleaner environment. Protec Arisawa could not miss this opportunity!

New technologies for the future of water

Microplastic membrane filters, digitally linked pumps, waste containers with sensors, more efficient wastewater recycling and 4.0 transformation of the entire industry… Each and every subject was simply fascinating! For five days, more than 3,300 exhibitors and 141,000 visitors focused on the main issues and the latest technologies related to water, wastewater, waste and raw materials management. The innovations in new membrane manufacturing techniques and new processes to improve desalination technology have also been in the spotlight.

Emerging themes such as decentralized treatment solutions that promote water reuse, recycling, or the recovery of resources contained in wastewater, attracted the attention of a great number of visitors, as well as new techniques in detection, quantification and treatment of micropollutants.

Beside, this 2018 edition has driven the public discourse more actively than ever before. As the Managing Director of Messe München Stefan Rummel underlined, “the public sphere has been heavily involved, and this was reflected in the visits of international politicians, the numerous delegations from all over the world and technology experts who came to share ideas, experiences and know-how.”

Our conclusions for IFAT 2018

In the XXIst century, the water industry still has a wide variety of practical issues that are yet to be solved. Climate change makes rainfall and floods more violent and unpredictable: there is no magic formula on how to react to these negative effects. IFAT has been a great setting for the development of global solutions, since single operators cannot make decisions on preventive measures without consulting other stakeholders such as communities or governments. This edition has witnessed how representatives of urban planning and wastewater management departments of cities from all over the world expressed their strong will to cooperate, especially between departments.

Protec Arisawa’s visit to Munich has been a complete success in many ways: we have met the most important actors in our sector and discovered new technologies; IFAT has definitely been the perfect spot to learn about the latest trends and developments of a water treatment activity that represents a growing market for both governments and the private sector.

Why does Protec Arisawa attend these global events?

Nowadays, the modern concept of a trade show as a commercial meeting is an indispensable marketing tool used in a global way to accelerate both relationship building and sales mechanism over short terms. Considering the influence and importance of this congress, we are strongly convinced that this kind of activities and meetings are highly positive for our development. For example, potential customers interested in products or services, such as those offered by Protec Arisawa, are much more likely to find out about our customized FRP pressure vessel solutions at a trade congress.

Furthermore, IFAT is also responsible for generating not only new areas of knowledge and creating opportunities for water-related research projects, but also for promoting innovation and creating new businesses in new, growing sectors, as well as providing workers with new skills.

Observing, understanding our competitors and comparing ourselves has been a most enriching experience at Messe München, considering that IFAT is the world’s leading exhibition since its creation in 1966 and a unique opportunity for all professionals in the sector. The next edition will be held from 4 to 8 May 2020 at Messe München, the Munich Trade Fair Centre. And, needless to say, Protec wil be there.

¿How changes in rainfall level can modify freshwater availability?

A new global study has used satellite technology and records of human activity to analyse Earth’s freshwater distribution for years, suggesting that wet areas are getting wetter, while dry areas are getting drier. This pattern is due to multiple factors, such as water management policies, human-induced climate change as well as natural climate cycles.

Protec Arisawa is a forward-looking company always searching for new solutions in our field, and our obligation is to always remain up to date with the latest and most relevant news affecting our sector. As global leaders in FRP pressure vessel manufacturing for reverse osmosis processes, everything related to water is essential for us.

New approach to an immediate problem

In many ways, we are facing a revolutionary scientific work. A NASA-led research team used 14 years of images and observations recorded by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, combined with data on human activities to map where –and why– freshwater is changing around the globe. Thanks to this innovative research technique, scientists have been able to track global freshwater trends in 34 regions around the world.

This study, published in the May 17, 2018 issue of the Nature science journal, includes other human data sources such as agricultural activities, mining and industry among others, and registers from 2002 to 2016. “This is the first time we’ve assessed how freshwater availability is changing, everywhere on Earth, using satellite observations”, stated Matt Rodell, lead author of the article and head of the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory.

Satellites to study Earth’s water

The twin GRACE satellites, launched in 2002 as a joint mission with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), measured the distance between the two satellites with an incredible accuracy, in order to detect changes in the Earth’s gravity field caused by mass movements on our planet. Using this method, GRACE scientists have been able to track variations in land water storage on a monthly to annual time scale, until the mission ended in October 2017.

The humid areas of the Earth are witnessing how the amount of precipitation they receive keeps increasing, while the dry areas are receiving fewer rains each year, and this leads to great global hydrological changes. As global temperatures continue to rise, cities around the world will have to figure out how to do more with less water. For example, in 2016 average daily per capita use in California was 321 litres, while the south-western region of the Golden State lost 4 gigatons of freshwater per year between 2007 and 2015. For reader’s information, a gigaton of water is the equivalent of the mass of the water contained in 400,000 Olympic swimming pools. Quite a trivial quantity, isn’t it?

“This observation-based assessment of how the world’s water landscape is responding to human impacts and climate variations provides a blueprint for evaluating and predicting emerging threats to water and food security,” as the study claims.

Fresh water is present in lakes, rivers, soils, snow, groundwater and glacial ice. The continuous loss of arctic mass, attributed to climate change, has severe implications for sea level rise. On the continental platforms, while water supplies in some regions are relatively stable, other areas typically experience increases or decreases, as the study reports.

Desalination as a future solution for water sustainability

In this context, the mastery of new water purification techniques and modern desalination processes is called to become a key factor that will set the pace in the path to find solutions to this problem that will undoubtedly change the world as we know it over the next 50 years.

At Protec, we strive every day to upgrade our FRP pressure vessel solutions, proving that reverse osmosis is one of the most advanced, efficient and environmentally friendly water purification technology: we are ready to face current global issued and well aware of the growing weight that innovation represents in finding sustainable ways to supply drinkable water.


Emerging trends in global freshwater availability

M. Rodell, J.S. Famiglietti, D.N. Wiese, J.T. Reager, H.K. Beaudoing, F.W. Landerer and M.-H. Lo.

Protec Arisawa in IFAT 2018

We would like to thank all the people who visited our stand. Being at IFAT was an enriching experience. We will continue to work very hard. See you at the next fair.
Thank you
The Protec Arisawa team.

Indeed, we are fit and ready for the first important international meeting in 2018. Come and visit us at Messe München between the 14th and 18th of May: IFAT is the world’s leading event for water technology professionals, you can’t miss it! We’ll be waiting for you at our stand A3.403

 After attending last year’s edition of the IDA World Congress and Aquatech Amsterdam with great results and a premium quality high-tech offer in pressure vessels for water purification, Protec Arisawa will also be present at IFAT 2018: The World’s Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management. We are on the move!

As was predicted, this IFAT edition is almost fully booked and its managers are expecting more participants, exhibitors and visitors than ever. More than 3,300 exhibitors –that is about 200 companies more than at the last edition in 2016– will attend this global trade fair for Environmental Technologies to present their pioneering technologies, innovations, strategies and solutions tailored to meet the requirements of specific markets and applications.

The best platform for innovation in water treatment

Protec’s state-of-the-art expertise will also be present at IFAT 2018, next to the most important actors in this sector. In future scenarios, treated water will support a wide range of economic and human activities in coastal areas, fulfilling new and innovative functions, and our mission is to remain at all times attentive to the particular needs and the latest discoveries in our field. In this sense, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management is the perfect scenario to expand knowledge in the newest emerging desalination and water reuse technologies.

Come and visit us at our stand A3.403

Between the 14th and 18th of May, Protec Arisawa will be at the Messe München exhibition centre (Munich, Germany), an impressive space with huge capacity and the best technical facilities for this top event. Our international team will assist clients, suppliers and visitors in every need.

 IFAT 2018 is a not-to-be-missed trade fair: The ideal stage to showcase our leadership in FRP pressure vessels for water purification processes. This is a unique field for networking opportunities, knowledge sharing, innovation and new business opportunities.

Attendance of all industry-relevant companies

As the main industrial platform for innovations in water reuse technologies, this IFAT edition is extremely interesting for Protec. Here are some key data about IFAT 2016 that mirror the importance of this meeting:

  • 3,087 exhibitors from 59 countries
  • 136,885 visitors from 169 countries
  • An exhibition space of more than 230,000 square meters

Our professional delegates will have the chance to meet the entire industry major players, ranging from companies providing services on a global scale to highly specialized medium-sized enterprises. We are most eager to share experiences with them all!

New challenges, new solutions

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), two billion people around the world must satisfy their thirst with contaminated water or not-correctly treated seawater. As the climate is changing, making the situation ever worse, the industry’s responsibility to handle water resources efficiently is growing every day. As the Managing Director of Messe München Stefan Rummel declared, “more and more companies throughout the world rise to the global environmental challenges.”

Come and visit us at our stand A3.403! We want to listen to your ideas and explore every possible solution to develop the right pressure vessel for each specific case and field of action. As water managers around the world grapple with intensifying water and wastewater infrastructure challenges, our objective is to expand the company’s field of action to more mainstream markets and to prove the quality of the best fiber-reinforced pressure vessel solutions for water purification on the market.

Protec Arisawa will provide 3,960 pressure vessels for the largest desalination complex in the world

Once again, global leaders in desalination plants design and construction –Abengoa and Fisia Italimpianti– have relied on Protec Arisawa pressure vessels for their most important project: an expansion of the largest reverse osmosis desalination plant in the world, at Shuaiba power and desalination complex (Saudi Arabia).

At Protec we live and work every day to take part in the most ambitious projects, both from an industrial and technological viewpoint. This is why we are proud to announce the award of an order that will challenge our production capacity, our innovating spirit and our commitment to quality, which is our hallmark.

FRP reverse osmosis pressure vessels for the biggest plant in the world

Indeed, Protec Arisawa will manufacture and install 3,960 high-tech pressure vessels for Shuaibah III, a huge energy and water purification complex located 90 km south of the city of Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. To be noted: this order is divided into 2,800 high-pressure vessels (1,200 psi) and 1,160 low pressure vessels (450 psi), intended to fulfill the reverse osmosis process requirements of a major project aimed at meeting the region’s increasing demand for water.

Our state-of-the-art pressure vessels will be the key elements of Shuaiba transformation into the world’s largest desalination complex, guaranteeing a stable supply of quality water from the Red Sea coast to the cities of Makkah, Jeddah, Taif, and Al-Baha.

The new facilities of the second expansion of Shuaiba III Seawater Desalination plant will have a production capacity of 250,000 cubic meters of purified water daily. Thanks to the 3,960 Protec FRP pressure vessels, the whole complex will be able to desalinate up to 400,000 cubic meters per day applying the newest reverse osmosis techniques: A volume of water equal to 400 Olympic pools, making this Saudi plant the largest desalination site in the world, in addition to Shuaiba’s current desalination capacity of 150,000 cubic meters through reverse osmosis and 850,000 cubic meters using multi-stage evaporation.

Our partners in this project

As global leaders in FRP pressure vessels for reverse osmosis water purification treatments, Protec is sincerely pleased to collaborate once again with the major players in this sector, as are Abengoa and Fisia Italimpianti, two companies sharing markets, challenges and goals.

In a joint venture with Fisia Italimpianti, Abengoa will be responsible for developing the engineering, supply and construction of the project ‘Shuaiba III Second Water Expansion Seawater Desalination plant’, being ACWA Power the project’s awarding authority which will coordinate the overall process for the final customer: The state-owned salt water conversion company, Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) of Saudi Arabia.

Abengoa is a Spanish international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, generating electricity from renewable sources, converting biomass into biofuels and producing drinking water from seawater. Abengoa and Protec Arisawa have operated as partners in several projects, such as the Agadir water treatment plant, where the production and provision of the reverse osmosis pressure vessels for the biggest desalination plant in Morocco was entrusted to our company.

Fisia Italimpianti is a world leader for the design and execution of desalination and water treatment plants. This global group is a worldwide known industrial engineering player, reputed for their designed, built and refurbished engineering plants, as well as their civil and industrial works all over the world. Desalination and water purification are today at the root of their renewed business strategy.

The Red Sea is an immediate and future market for desalination processes due to the growing number of membrane desalination plants in the region, especially in Saudi Arabia, where Protec’s membrane filtration systems have already successfully set foot.

This major hit in the Middle East is the best proof that Protec Arisawa has further reinforced its leadership position in pressure vessels for desalination industry in this region since we are already deploying our unique professional expertise in several mega-projects. Thanks to this new expansion of Shuaiba III reverse osmosis seawater treatment facilities, we now have the opportunity to strengthen our commitment to this region and its most valued clients.

World Water Day 2018 reminds us of our short-term supply problem. How can technology help?

Held annually on March 22, it is now the 25th year that Protec Arisawa joins World Water Day 2018: As a global leader in FRP pressure vessels for water purification treatments, we are concerned by this matter.

Today, almost 2 billion people lack access to daily and safe drinking water. In addition, nearly the same population lives in potentially severely water-scarce areas. That number is expected to rise to 3 billion by 2050. As leading engineers, what can we do to address this problem?

On World Water Day, universal access to our vital liquid remains a privilege, when it should be a universal right. “To defend the earth and to safeguard water is to protect life”. Even Pope Francis has posted a tweet on the occasion, reminding the big challenges we are facing.

Experts predict that water demand will exceed supply by 40 percent in 2030. Innovation and technology can create sustainable ways to find new water sources and improve the systems already existing. However, finding a solution depends exclusively on us.

What is World Water Day?

World Water Day, as its name suggests, is an international day of awareness focusing on the ongoing global water issues. Just take a look around: Even countries with huge hydrographical resources like Brazil, Canada or China will face significant water challenges in the coming decades. Droughts, floods and pollution: In many communities around the world, water management challenges are increasing in contexts of both abundance and scarcity, creating social and economic confrontations with worrying consequences.

In addition to human catastrophes, we can witness how severe droughts can intensify critical situations caused by social, political, ethnic and religious tensions. Water is also used as a weapon: Palestinian people, for example, are facing serious shortages in water supplies and poor infrastructure to manage their few available sources.

Investments in hard services and water infrastructure are very important. However, to achieve success with these investments, we need new approaches and, ultimately, innovation. We are 

engineers and creators: We need more people focused on the social, economic and politicalchallenges we are increasingly facing while managing our water.

Past and present, innovation leads the way

In the 18th century, ships carried their own 

desalination plants onboard to ensure clean water supply during long journeys. Seawater was boiled and then condensed. The liquid obtained had almost no salt, and the resulting brine was removed. Quite a simple process, in fact. Advances in reverse osmosis technology in the 1960s made this water purification system more readily available.

Now, the energy required to obtain fresh water from the oceans is more affordable and sustainable. Today, more than 18,000 desalination plants operate in 150 countries, and the process requires 80 percent less energy than was needed 20 years ago.

World Water Day 2018 emphasises the need for each country, state and region to assume its responsibility, and guarantee access to quality water for everyone, especially the most disadvantaged. At Protec, we develop the technology and products to make possible a fair exchange of water resources in the future. Our goal is to contribute in this global challenge, building the XXIst century tools to ensure rational and responsible use of water, both at local and global level.

United Nations’ International Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028, has just started. As a global leader in FRP pressure vessel for water purification, at Protec Arisawa we understand that the role of businesses in the responsible stewardship of our most vital natural resource is most important than ever.

Our technology at the service of water.

With the technology currently available, there should never be water shortage, particularly when industry can work in partnership with local, regional and national governments to help guaranteeing clean water supply. Protec Arisawa is well aware that desalted water is expected to fulfil new and innovative functions, especially as the support of a wide range of economic and human activities in coastal areas. Therefore, we keep working everyday to deploy our solutions to serve people, industry and water conservation.

The perpetual mobile: Still an impossible challenge for modern innovation?

A machine that never stops, without any source of energy to feed the movement: It is a dream that we, as inventors, have been trying to fulfil for thousands of years. The reason is pretty simple: It would be a tremendous breakthrough, and the response to a lot of our current problems. Even if it is an impossible concept, we can extract valuable innovation lessons from the history of the quest for perpetual motion.

The perpetual mobile is a hypothetical machine that would certainly change our industrial vision. Theoretically, we are talking about a device able to function eternally –after an initial impulse– without requiring any additional external energy, based on the idea of energy conservation.

It would be great, wouldn’t it? Over the centuries, countless scientists have fantasized about this concept, creating machines that are supposed to achieve perpetual motion. The idea has attracted fortune seekers, idealists, amateur mechanics, engineers, swindlers and, of course, scientific geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci, Villard de Honnecourt, Bhaskara II or Johann Bernoulli, among many others. At Protec Arisawa, curiosity and innovation are in our DNA, and we have made a modest yet interesting research on this subject.

First of all, a little bit of Physics

To this day, none of this kind of devices is really functional in scientific terms. All were doomed to failure. Why does Physics claim that such a machine is not viable? Here is the explanation: The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy can be converted from one form to another with the interaction of heat, work and internal energy, but it cannot be created nor destroyed, under any circumstances.

But, the statement that finally knocks-out any debate –even if some “mad” scientist managed to avoid the First Law and did not need any kind of external energy– is the Second Law. This physical principle states that, in practice, entropy always increases, so when heat and friction are generated due to movement, the invariable original energy will decrease, so a perpetual motion device will eventually stop.

An impossible-to-build machine?

Nevertheless, the idea of a «perpetual motion machine» has been an irresistibly attractive concept to humanity for centuries. Today, we can find on the Internet thousands of mechanics projects and devices claiming to have successfully achieved the perpetual movement utopia. The truth is that many of them are really amazing, and it is hard to guess if there really is any trick or treat.


However, someone once claimed to have achieved this objective, obtaining perhaps the most recognised success in perpetual mobile design. It was Johann Ernst Elias Bessler, better known as “Orffyreus”, a German entrepreneur born in Saxony in 1680. Around 1712, he started to exhibit a series of apparently self-propelled wheels in various sizes. His gadgets attracted lots of attention but were commonly branded as fraudulent.

Foto Bessler

Three years later, Orffyreus built a larger machine, which was two meters in diameter. He presented it to a committee of scientists and eminent academics. After examining the machine for almost two months, a certificate was issued proclaiming that it was an authentic continuous motion machine, capable of lifting a 30-kg load. However, many enemies of Orffyreus despised this report, and kept denouncing his invention as a fraud.

Exasperated by the mistrust his machine was inspiring, Bessler wanted to prove its authenticity. In this case, several historical accounts state that in October 1717 the wheel was moved to a room at Weissenstein Castle, in Bavaria, far from any surrounding wall and set so that everyone could walk around the device. Once the machine was put into motion, the room was sealed. Two weeks later, the seals were opened and the wheel was still spinning. The room was resealed and remained so until January 1718. And guess what, when they opened the doors, the wheel was still turning.


A professional suicide

Unfortunately, the continuous judgement led Johan Bessler to believe that everything was a ploy to steal the secrets of his wheel. In one of the most remarkable acts of self-destruction in History, he broke his wheel into pieces in a paranoid fit of rage.

After this professional suicide, Orffyreus disappeared from the public scene. Years later, some sources mentioned that he was working on a new revolutionary machine, but it never came to light. Bessler died in ostracism in 1745, after falling from a windmill he was building.

Even if Johann Bessler’s machine was not a genuine perpetual motion device, it was undoubtedly an original and efficient design. Could we use these energy conservation principles to develop new sustainable solutions for all kinds of industrial sectors?

At Protec Arisawa, we believe that innovation is the key to achieve the best solutions in our field. Today, we are global leaders in designing and manufacturing FRP pressure vessels for water purification. As engineers, we are convinced that our mission is to accept great challenges, in order to achieve greater success. We may not be able to build an authentic continuous motion machine, but Protec is definitely a perpetual innovation company.