]As technology advances and scale enlarges, the cost of international seawater desalination plant reduces by a certain degree. Regarding the factors of project scale, technology choices, energy prices, labor cost and different calculation methods, the cost of seawater desalination in China is much closer to the international level. In 2013, the product water cost in China is about RMB 5-8 per cubic meter.

The cost of seawater desalination plant mainly consists of initial investment, operation & maintenance cost and energy consumption cost. The operation & maintenance cost includes maintenance cost, chemical dosing expense, membrane replacement cost, administration cost and labor cost. According to our practical experience, the seawater desalination cost is affected by factors which showed as follows:

1. Unit product water capacity decides the initial investment of seawater desalination plant

Unit freshwater yield is the premise of main devices choice, such as the specification and number of high-pressure pump and reverses osmosis. The main devices are the seawater desalination plant initial investment important composition. For small tonnage seawater desalination system, the quotation of the high-pressure pump with small flow rate is lower than the pumps for large desalination project. Another, greater of the project is more RO membranes needs, and vice versa.

2.Requirements for the product water decide the technical process and configuration cost

The product water of seawater desalination plant is widely used for different purposes, such as for domestic life water, for irrigation, for drinking and so on. For different usage, the requirements for the technical process are different. In China, the TDS requirement for domestic usage water is less than 1000 ppm, 1 pass seawater RO system is enough for the configuration design (according to the standard condition of seawater: TDS. You can refer to our article: 10 Steps of How To Design Seawater Reverse Osmosis Systems.

3. Reasonable process design for customized desalination solution also affects capital expenditure

Regarding of different demands to product water and the feed water condition, customization is the most obvious feature of seawater desalination system, though standardized production is likely to be a development orientation. For the same product water capacity, there are different process design. Considering the recovery rate and the steady operation of the overall system, the main devices configuration should be designed by conservative design parameters. Otherwise, the maximum design parameters may lead to an overload of the system, which is harmful to the long run of desalination system.

4. The quality level of configuration

For some manufacturers, there are equipped with high quality and economical type can be offered. Some customers think it is acceptable for routine replacement of the components, but someone thinks the high-end configuration is good for steady operation and convenient for maintenance.

5. Operation cost

Power consumption is the main part of operating cost of seawater desalination system. The power supply mainly comes from state power grid, and one part of power is generated by on-site power equipment. Generally speaking, the greater of the project is, the cheaper of unit operating cost. On the other hand, the operation cost includes the chemical dosage, RO membrane replacement, administration cost and labor cost.

The cost analysis of seawater desalination system can be done according to above aspects. With the advancement of technology and new materials application, the cost will be more acceptable and be applied more widely into various industries.

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