GE’s (NYSE: GE) advanced desalination technology is helping a water scarce region in the Bahamas conserve water, expand water production and improve its access to clean drinking water.

Residents of Tarpum Bay on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas have been suffering with brackish and poor quality water for many years. GE provided its seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) membrane technology to a new water treatment plant, which can now produce 200,000 imperial gallons per day of desalinated water. Specifically, the plant uses GE’s SeaTECH 84 SWRO system.

“The completion of the Tarpum Bay/Rock Sound Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant was extremely important to the residents of South Eleuthera who have suffered for many years with poor quality water due to high salinity levels,” said Philip J. Beneby, assistant general manager, Water and Sewage Corporation of the Bahamas. “GE’s water technology enabled us to provide highly improved water quality to the community.”

Although the facility began commercial operation in June, the Tarpum Bay plant held a grand opening ceremony on November 11. The prime minister of the Bahamas, the Honorable Hubert A. Ingraham, Minister of the Environment Dr. Earl Deveaux and the Bahamas’ Minister of State for the Environment Phenton Neymour attended the event. Other dignitaries in attendance were Alvin Smith, Bahamas’ speaker of the House of Assembly; several local officials; Glen Laville, Water and Sewage Corporation of the Bahamas’ general manager; and Phillip Beneby.

“Lack of fresh water lowers living standards. In regions where the ocean is a predominate source of usable water, desalination using seawater reverse osmosis membrane technology is a viable option to create a new water supply,” said Jeff Connelly, vice president, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “GE’s advanced technologies can remove minerals and salt from brackish water, which converts previously unusable water into high-purity water for drinking, irrigation or industrial uses.”

With the commissioning of the Tarpum Bay/Rock Sound Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant, there are now three GE water treatment facilities on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera.

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GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Management and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 100,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.

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