Malta’s Water Services Corporation with the collaboration of the Energy and Water Agency will be holding an International Course on the Desalination of Seawater and Brackish Water between Monday 6th and Thursday 9th May 2024.

The course will be held in Malta and delivered by experts from the Water Services Corporation and Water Globe Consultants. Course content will focus on the review of the latest reverse osmosis (RO) and brackish membrane desalination plant technologies and will also include hand-on experience.

Attendance to the course is open for engineers and technicians from Mediterranean countries working in the desalination sector

Course Content

Course Contents:

The course will, over the four day period address the following technical and practical components:


Day 1 – Key Desalination Plant Components and Technologies

  • Desalination Process Fundamentals
  • RO System Overview
  • Solutions for Planning and Design Challenges of RO Systems
  • Source Water Intakes
  • Source Water Conditioning/Pre-treatment Process Fundamentals


Day 2 – Desalination Plant Design and Operations

  • Design Schemes And Considerations for Seawater and Brackish Water RO Systems
  • Plant Performance Analysis, Optimization and Troubleshooting
  • Post Treatment
  • Concentrate Management and Brine Mining
  • Desalination Plant Case Studies


Day 3 – Morning – Equipment Selection, Maintenance and Automation

  • Selection of Equipment/Specifications
  • Maintenance Strategies/Techniques
  • Automation as a Management Tool


Afternoon:  Site Visits


Day 4 – Hands-on Operations Training

Training Activities:

  • SDI Test of Source Water and Pretreated Feedwater
  • Cartridge Filter Replacement
  • Conductivity Profiling of RO Vessels
  • Membrane Replacement
  • Membrane Rotation
  • Membrane Weighing
  • Starting Up and Shutting Down of RO Trains
  • Train Flushing
  • Dismantling and Assembling of Main Pumping And Energy Recovery Equipment

Organising Entities

The WSC is responsible for all aspects of the water cycle in the Maltese Islands and employs approximately 1,200 people. It is responsible for the extraction of groundwater, the production of drinking water through reverse osmosis, and the collection, treatment, and safe disposal of wastewater.

The WSC is one of the most experienced operators of large-scale reverse osmosis plants, producing around 34 million cubic meters of potable water each year. Around 20 million cubic meters of this water is produced at the three reverse osmosis plants in Pembroke, Ċirkewwa, and Għar Lapsi. The rest is produced from underground sources and stored in 24 reservoirs with a total capacity of 400,000 cubic meters.


The Energy & Water Agency is an organisation of the Government of Malta. Since starting in 2014, our mission has been to ensure the security, sustainability and affordability of energy and water in Malta.  As a governmental agency, we formulate and coordinate the implementation of the Government’s national policies for energy and water, as well as EU legislation for energy and water sustainability. We also act on laws and set in motion policies related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, water demand management, and the security of Malta’s electricity, gas and water supply.

Technical Consultants

Water Globe Consultants, LLC is a professional engineering company specialized in providing independent expert services in the field of seawater desalination and water reuse.

Our team has over 30 years of experience in planning, environmental review, permitting and implementation of large seawater desalination, water treatment and water reclamation projects worldwide



NIKOLAY VOUTCHKOV – Executive Director 
Water Globe Consultants, LLC

Mr. Voutchkov is an internationally recognized expert in the field of desalination and membrane application technology with over 35 years of experience in feasibility assessment, environmental review, development, procurement, financing, and implementation of desalination projects. He has an extensive experience with providing professional training services focused on desalination and water reuse technology.

Mr. Voutchkov serves as an expert technical advisor to public and private utilities, project developers, owners, lenders, and equity investors of over a dozen desalination projects in the Middle East, US, Mexico, Australia, and elsewhere, totaling more than US$15 billion in value. Mr. Voutchkov has published over 50 technical articles, co-authored 11 books and has 10 patents in the field of desalination, brine mining, water and wastewater treatment, and reuse.

He is one of the principal authors of the American Water Works Association’s Manual of Water Supply Practices (AWWA M46) on Reverse Osmosis and Nanofiltration, the Australia Guidelines for Pretreatment for Seawater Desalination Plants and of the World Health Organization Guidance for the Health and Environmental Aspects Applicable to Desalination.


David Sacco

Ing David Sacco B Eng (Hons) , MBA , CEng ,MIET
Chief Officer : Production & Treatment, Water Services Corporation (Malta)

Ing David Sacco has been in the water sector for more than thirty five years . He is employed by Water Services Corporation which is the state owned company responsible for the whole water cycle in Malta. Ing D Sacco holds a Bachelors Degree in Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. He is also a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institute of Engineering Technology of UK.

Ing Sacco has expertise in Desalination and membrane treatment projects ranging from design, project management as well as operations and maintenance. During his employment period with Water Services Corporation he was responsible for all RO plants’ optimization programmes that included project financing , design, manufacturing and commissioning. He was also instrumental in the development of special tools to ensure production of water at high efficiency levels and hence lowest operational cost possible. He is currently also responsible for the management of all waste water and reclamation plants .

ronald pace

Ing. Ronald Pace
Manager, Desalination Unit, Water Services Corporation (Malta)

Ing. Ronald Pace is currently managing the four seawater reverse osmosis plants owned by the Water Services Corporation that produce 70% of the total water demand of the Maltese Islands. He has 20 years of experience in the desalination field and wide experience in RO operations, plant maintenance, design, testing and commissioning of new plant, and is also responsible for the upgrading of existing systems with innovative and more efficient equipment.

His managerial responsibilities include energy auditing, optimization of plant performance, quality and H&S management, procurement and stores management.

Application form