Technological differentiation as SENER’s strategic advantage - June 2014 - Number 47 /Technology

SENER’s capabilities in Water and Environment

Seawater circulation system in the regasification plant Gate terminal (The Netherlands).

Seawater circulation system in the regasification plant Gate terminal (The Netherlands).

In the field of hydraulics, SENER has gained an international reputation, with more than 200 projects successfully carried out worldwide. Fields in which SENER is active include: extreme hydrology and flood studies; flood early warning systems, decision support systems and real-time hydro-meteorological monitoring networks; river basin management studies; water resources management models and drought contingency plans; water supply, sewage and reuse planning; irrigation systems planning; dam operation rules and emergency plans; due diligences (projects and concessions); projects of intake structures/pipelines/pumping stations (water supply/sewage/cooling water systems); river protection works and flood control structures; urban sewer systems and stormwater retention tanks; projects of irrigation, canals, ponds, and distribution systems; water treatment (potabilization, desalination, wastewater treatment, and water reuse projects); hydraulic tunnels and microtunnels; submarine intake/outfalls and oil&gas pipelines; hydropower systems; dams, locks, spillways, gates, and outlet systems.

In all of these fields SENER can perform every project stage, from planning and feasibility studies, to detailed designs, technical assistance in construction and project management, through to turnkey contracts, operational services, and commissioning of installations.

These capabilities are complemented by hydraulic engineering works linked to projects in other sectors, such as railroads, highways, airports, industrial facilities, ports, and urban development.

R&D in Water and Environment for space

The European Space Agency (ESA) is working on efficient water recovery and recycling systems as part of its global life support system on long-duration manned space exploration missions, where refueling from Earth would be highly infrequent. To this end, the Agency has launched various projects within its Technology Research Program (TRP).

SENER has worked on a number of these projects. In one of them, SENER led a study on the conceptual definition and design of space equipment for the real-time chemical analysis of water quality, with the aim of identifying the analysis technique best suited to space, so that the chemical properties of water can be monitored in real time. SENER also led a project to eliminate critical contaminants from water so that it can be recycled, by means of filtration and ion exchange systems. SENER had previously designed a technological demonstrator for a recycling unit, capable of treating gray water, yellow water, and condensation water for its hygienic reuse. This demonstrator was designed to be used for one year on a lunar base with a crew of six. Currently, SENER is participating in the development and manufacture of an advanced prototype of this system.

All of these activities are for MELISSA (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative), an international multidisciplinary project coordinated by the ESA, and whose objective is the development of a regenerative life support system for long-duration manned space missions, which will supply astronauts with water, food, and oxygen, and also recycle waste in future space habitats.

SENER’s hydraulic engineering team employs specialists from various technical disciplines, ranging from numerical modeling, through to diverse hydrological and hydraulic fields: pluviometry, hydrogeology, dams, hydropower systems, and water supply and sewage; as well as complementary disciplines, such as structures and foundations, electricity and communications, electromechanics, processes, hydraulic works, industrial architecture, systems integration, and instrumentation. Civil engineers, architects, Industrial engineers, statisticians, geologists, economists, and lawyers make up a multi-disciplinary group that is able to take on a project in its overall, and not only deliver solutions that meet the client’s expectations, but also offer significant improvements on the initial project through innovative proposals.

Noteworthy examples of hydraulic engineering projects SENER has executed include: seawater circulation systems in the regasification terminals at Sagunto (Spain), Rotterdam (Netherlands), and Dunkerke (France), in which SENER was also part of the turnkey construction consortium; the water circulation systems in the combined cycle power plants in San Martín and Vuelta de Obligado, both in Argentina; the bid design of the third set of locks for the Panama Canal. Further examples of such works in Spain include flood risk management plans for the Basque Country; the water transfer project from the Rhone basin to Catalonia; the detailed design of sections 10 and 37 of the Ebro transfer; the detailed design of a new lock in the port of Seville; the technical consultancy, commissioning and operation of the Canal de Navarra; the decision support system for flooding in the Basque Country; the river space planning for the Tordera Basin and the project for the reuse of waste water in Martorell and Rubí (Barcelona); various irrigation studies and projects for the Segarra-Garrigues system in Lérida; the detailed design of the Corrospari dam in Álava; the detailed design of the Porma y Ferreras hydropower plants in León; and design revision of more than 90 projects for Acuamed.

Additionally, in keeping with its innovative spirit, SENER collaborates with various companies and universities, bringing in cutting-edge technology from all different fields.


Detailed design of a new lock in the port of Seville (Spain). Water circulation system in the combined cycle power plant in San Martín (Argentina).  Reuse of waste water in l’Escala and Gerona (Spain).  Gray water recycling unit.

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