News - Membrane Replacement at the Gold Coast Desalination Plant

GCDP Membrane Replacement

Veolia News Article, originally published by Jaleel Jarrett 27th May 2021

Hear about the Gold Coast Desalination Plant Membrane Replacement Project


A project involving the full replacement of Reverse Osmosis membranes at the Gold Coast Desalination Plant commenced in April.  The project involves the removal and replacement of 16,848 membranes.


Safety was a significant driver, with an emphasis placed on reducing manual handling and the potential for injury during the loading and unloading process. In partnership with Neumann Contractors, the Veolia project team developed a mechanical membrane loader/unloader, which has successfully reduced the manual handling by 85%.


A prototype of the membrane loader was fabricated and the loading/unloading process was simulated multiple times on a specifically built test rig.  This was used to confirm and calibrate the loading forces and safety systems on the loader to mitigate the risk of damage to process equipment, membranes and people.


The first phase of the installation saw the replacement of 3,456 membranes on the three second pass RO trains.  This was completed successfully utilising the mechanical loader system with no reloading of membranes required and high purity water being produced from the first start up of the newly loaded membranes.

The successful outcome of this phase, with no cracked interconnections or rolled o-rings (which are common occurrences during the manual loading process), can be directly attributed to the diligence of the installation contractor and the consistent loading of the membranes with the automated loader.

What’s next?

The next phase involving the replacement of 13,392 first pass membranes is scheduled to commence in late August. 

If you have membranes to load on your site you can engage Neumann Contractors to use the membrane loader on your site.

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